Gredos Winter crossing in La Nava lagoon


We continue with the winter routes, those with so much snow that many attracts us. The Nava lagoon It is located in the province of Avila, Spain, on an old glacier, not far from an interesting town as it is Avila boat, with its old, Romanesque bridge they say, over the river Tormes.

Avila boat It is one of those towns that offers you a multitude of things to see, from its walls, the clock house, the Hermitage of the Holy Christ of Caño, its castle and of course the old bridge, as well as excellent restaurants to taste the classic judgments of the area, ideal to gain strength to go to the Nava lagoon.

Starting point

Gredos Winter crossing in La Nava lagoon

We depart on a Friday afternoon from Madrid heading Avila boat.Barco de Avila is about 2 and a half hours from Madrid, where much of the route is by highway. Once there we spent the night in a hostel at the entrance of the town, I would almost say the typical road bar, but being this next to a polygon and already within the town we almost took it out of this category of succulent establishments, but come on, for value, excellent in my point of view.

Already the next day we headed to Ship's Nava on the PR AV-39, a charming town and that is where most of the crossings depart to the Nava lagoon. There is a parking lot to leave the car, but if you have 4 × 4 or do not have much love for your car you can save about 2km of walking since you can leave the car by the river, next to the bridge and starting point of our track.

To the Nava

Once we "arm ourselves" we leave the small bridge behind and enter the throat of Galín Gómez, with little snow at the beginning and through a dirt track used by farmers / ranchers in the area. When the track ends, when passing through a fence, the throat begins to close gradually and in winter it is where there is really a lot of snow.

Entering the throat
Goats in the Nava

Shortly after you reach the Navacasera Shelter, a perfect place in case things get ugly and you have to take shelter from bad weather. It is true that this shelter is not far from the car, but if time goes against it, it does not hurt. It is also a perfect place to spend the night.

As you progress along the route, first there is a large esplanade and then you walk along the side of a ditch, the throat narrows until all the water that comes down from the mountains offers you the first challenge. Crossing the streams, rivers in winter I would say, without falling to them for slipping on the ice.

Making circus maneuvers to cross streams

This is one of the most complex parts of the winter crossing, especially because of the snow and ice accumulated in the rocks. Another option is to take off your shoes, but who knows if you don't answer your feet later. I would not play at this point, there are still a few kilometers to reach the lagoon.

He would like to take a bath ...

After crossing the stretches of water, and I speak in the plural, because it is necessary to cross as two or three times, the “summer” path is taken again, covered by snow and without seeing footprints of other walkers. This is where you welcome the different stretches of water that join higher in the form of waterfalls and waterfalls, spectacular both in summer and winter.

Occasionally things get ugly ...

As a story in much of the tour across the river we were accompanied by a family of friendly goats, that instead of throwing the mountain as they say, they were shortly after towards where we had the car, preamble of a great storm, the callexplosive cyclogenesis, what little names they put today, to say that it will be a cold that peels.

The bad weather stalks and with the snow by the knees
Down the throat

Halfway you find a small altar with a virgin, something curious to see on such a cold winter day. In this part of the route you walk to the left side of the river, leaving a precipice to the right with which we have to be very careful depending on the ice on the road. Soon after, another esplanade appears where you can see a meandering stream and Nava del Barco in the background, green at this time, but usually snowed in winter.

In the meandering stream at -3ºc. What makes good thermal clothing ...
Laguna de la Nava, heading for a swim 🙂

Upon reaching the lagoon we found it frozen and with a hurricane wind. The lagoon is guarded by the Canchalón barrier and the Barrerón del Campanar, giving access to summits such as the Covacha or theCorral del Diablo, but when the weather gets so bad, blissful cyclogenesis, it's time to turn around for a warm soup at home and enjoy the pictures taken during the route.

Practical data

How to get?

From Avila taking the N110, all straight truth, being able to arrive in an hour.

What to wear

In a winter route like this you can not miss material such as:

  • Crampons
  • Winter boots.
  • Winter clothes.
  • Leggings.
  • Ice ax
  • Cap and two pairs of gloves.
  • Sunglasses.
  • A sandwich of sausage or ham.

Where to sleep?

At the entrance of the town coming from Avila, it is possibly one of the cheapest hostels in Avila boat, La Pineda, with comfortable rooms for about € 40.