The Valgrande / Pajares ski resort is located in Spain, in the Cantabrian Mountains, in the Asturian council of Lena, near Asturias and Léon. Is considered one of the reference resorts in the Cantabrian Mountains. The ski resort located in the in the municipality of Lena / L.lena has a long history behind, which does not prevent it from looking to the future with optimism. They lately started improving its facilities, services and trails year after year, in order to please its loyal customers.
Valgrande / Pajares history
This ski resort is located at the top of the port of Pajares, on the border between the provinces of Asturias and León. This makes it perfectly accessible to the main citys of Asturias and León. It is just 75 kilometers away from Gijón, 90 kilometers from Avilés and 60 kilometers from Oviedo and León. It is accessed through the mythical port of Pajares, N-630 road, Ruta de la Plata (Gijón – Seville road).
With more than 50 years of history (it was inaugurated in 1954), the Valgrande-Pajares station is perfectly communicated with important population centers like Asturias or Léon. Thanks to the work of Jesús Valgrande, one of its main promoters, and from whom it took its name, the resort has always been a quarry of great alpine skiers. It also become, a long time ago, a mandatory reference for Nordic skiing lovers.
In the Cantabrian cornice, behind the hills of the mythical port of Pajares and in the shadow of the Cueto Negro, the Cellón and Las Tres Marías, which are around 2.000 meters in altitude. The resort is one of the oldest in Spain.
What the resort offers
It has a skiable area about 21,5 km of slopes. With 4 ski lifts, 3 two-seater chairlifts and 2 four-seater chairlifts, they can transport up to 7.000 passengers per hour.
In addition, it has a cross-country trail, snow park at the summit, and a competition stadium. Allowing the practice of various kinds of ski.
Today, a marked cross-country itinerary with about seven kilometers length is preserved. But times change and trends too. Something the managers of the resort have understood perfectly in recent years. Paying special attention to sports such as snowboarding and, more specifically, freestyle, which has more and more followers among the visitors of Valgrande-Pajares.
Leisure and accommodation offer
At the base of the slopes, the resort has a wide range of services and facilities: medical service, ski and snowboard school (with 30 teachers), equipment rental, snow garden, recreational areas, sports courts, cafeterias, restaurant , etc.
It has 150 hotel beds at the foot of the slopes, in the hotel and hostel modalities. Plus another 500 accommodation places within a radius of 3 to 50 km. The ease of access that the resort has, as well as its location, close to Oviedo, León, Gijón and Avilés, make it possible to combine the practice of skiing with other types of sports, cultural, gastronomic and nature resources.
It has recently undergone a remodel. Improving its services and expanding the skiable domain, allowing the practice of downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding. The ski area is located between the slopes of Celleros, Cuetu Riondu and Cuitunigru. In the Cuitunigru area we find two differentiated areas. Valle del Sol (formed by Hoya de Cuitunigru, the Valle itself, Los Pasos Martinelli and La Hoya) and the Tubu (formed of the Cuitunigru tube and Les Patines).
The best trails and areas of the resort
Valgrande / Pajares has 9 lifts, 5 chair lifts (2 quad and 3 simple) as well as 4 ski lifts, give a capacity of 10.200 skiers per hour and 32 marked trails. In addition to a 7kilometer cross-country ski circuit. One of the chairlifts closed in the 2015-2016 season due to its age.
The lower part of the station (Celleros sector) is, unfortunately, in disuse and totally abandoned. Before the 2009-2010, season began, the dismantling of the lower area of the resort was announced. This area was called “Celleros” Sector, which includes the “Picarota”, “Abedules” and “Dulce la Dueña” ski lifts.
The definitive closure of the area is due to years of disuse due to administrational problems. Since these lands are from León and the station is Asturian-owned, and due to the poor condition of the slopes and ski lifts.
The Cuitunigru area is divided into a total of 3 valleys or main sectors that include the Valle del Sol, the Vallón and the Tubu. Talking about other “Subsectors”, they gained great importance in the resort, such as: “Hoya de Cuitunigru”, “Les Patines” and “La Hoya – Urbanización”.
Curiosities of Valgrande / Pajares
Valgrande / Pajares is innovating and improving year by year. A great proof of this is its investment in a modern artificial snow system. Currently, Valgrande-Pajares has about 90 artificial snow cannons that spawn about 5,5 km. of slopes in the Valle del Sol and El Tubu sectors.
A clear example of great ski conditions presented by the resort, was during Christmas 2006. The snow reached a maximum thicknesses of half a meter (the European record for snow thickness in December at a height of 1500 meters above sea level), while other neighboring stations, such as San Isidro or Leitariegos barely passed 2 km of open tracks and 30 cm thick of snow; and others like Manzaneda remained closed.