ASCENTS AND CLIMBS
The peaks and crest lines in the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley offer climbing and mountaineering enthusiasts plenty of possibilities to carry out these sports the whole year round. There are several areas in the protected space where climbers and mountaineers can find routes with various degrees of difficulty, from practically the lowest level, ideal for learning, to extreme levels in which the characteristics of the rock and the weather conditions enable sports climbing and ascents to be practised for which users should have knowledge about the techniques and equipment necessary for high mountain situations.
CLIMBING ZONES AND VIA FERRATAS
COLL JOVELL “BOULDER”
At the final bend on the Engolasters road, take the GR11 heading south-east towards Coll Jovell; after a walk of about 15 minutes you come to the climbing zone: small granite walls, of 6 to 18 metres long, with a total of forty-one open routes, with difficulty levels ranging from 4 to 8. The area, at an altitude of 1,620 m and facing north-west, is divided into five sectors: Figa, Festa, Del Sostre, Frankfurt and Can Faltegan. The first four are at the bottom of the Coll Jovell Path, however to get to the Can Faltegan sector, just under Frankfurt, you need to take the path that goes down towards Escaldes-Engordany.
From the same departure points used to get to the Coll Jovell Bolder, where there is the Circuit de les Fonts parking area, follow the path that goes inside, heading east. After some 15 minutes and after a final stretch with a slight slope, you come to the bottom of the Agulles d’Engolasters, at an altitude of 1,740 m. There are 17 routes facing north-east, equipped with M10 parabolts thanks to the Andorran Mountaineering Federation (FAM). The levels of difficulty range from 4 to 6b+ and the lengths vary between 15 and 30 metres.
|1||Directa plus, placa||15 m||5c+|
|2||Fissura Carricrudo||15 m||4|
|3||Placa Xamonix||12 m||6b+|
|4||Aresta LPP||15 m||5b|
|5||Via del davant||15 m||5a|
|6||Plaça directa rip||20 m||5c|
|8||Diedre verd||15 m||4b|
|9||Placa Shiva||15 m||6a|
|10||Fissura Rajoli||12 m||4+|
|11||Fissura bruta||15 m||4+|
|12||Placa bau||15 m||4+|
|13||Placa Cuñayo||15 m||5b|
|14||Placa fissurada||20 m||4|
|15||Via de la llastra||25 m||4+|
|16||Via dels sostrets||28 m||6a|
|17||Via chapeau||28 m||6a|
PIC DE RÍBULS
The Ríbuls peak (2,827) is one of the peaks that close the Els Pessons cirque. The most usual approach is from the car park of Grau Roig ski resort: climb up to L’Estany Primer and after going round the bank leave the path, which continues towards the right, and carry on through the middle of the valley following the stream. After approximately an hour and a half on foot, you will come to the bottom of the wall. The climb mainly takes place in fissure and dihedral, and it is recommendable to take cold weather equipment, even in the summer, due to the height and the fact that the routes are very exposed. Once you get to the top, the descent is done by following the crest line heading east towards the col, and from there you go down a sharp drop following the path northwards to the bottom of the wall.
Direct to the N-W spur (270 metres)
The route starts at the lowest point of the spur and after the fifth length follows the classic route. The first four lengths are between 15 and 25 metres, with a difficulty of 4, 5 and 5+, apart from the first stretch, which is grade 3 difficulty. It is equipped with nails and you need to take ten express slings, material for equalised anchor systems, a set of chocks and a set of spring-loaded camming devices.
“AMANECER” ROUTE (180 METRES)
A 5 and 5+ grade route with a 6 grade move that climbs through the large slab there is in the middle of the eastern slope. It is equipped with bolts and self-tapping bolts. You need to take ten express slings, material for equalised anchor systems and a set of chocks. Three or four lengths, the first two of 40 metres and the other two of 50 metres, and from the last equalised anchor system you need to set up an abseil of some 15 metres to go down the spur and reach the summit.
Classic to the N-W spur (240 metres)
A grade 3 and 4 climb, with some stretches of grade 5, that starts off at the channel there is to the right of the spur. The channel is often damp and you can find snow at the foot of the wall until the beginning of summer. The route offers five lengths of between 30 and 40 metres and is equipped with bolts. You need to take eight express slings, material for equalised anchor systems and a set of chocks. At the end of the route, you need to set up an abseil of some 15 metres to go down the spur and follow the crest as far as the summit.
“SOL SOLET” ROUTE (150 METRES)
The route climbs some 20 metres of the “Amanecer” route in the middle of the pillar that sticks out of the large dihedral that cuts through the wall and the smaller dihedral on the left, next to the slab. Above the pillar, you must overcome an overhang before coming to an easier stretch that links with the third equalised anchor system of the “Amanecer” route and follows this track to the summit. The difficulty of the route is 5+, with A2 moves. You should be equipped with bolts and cord slings. You need to take ten express slings, material for equalised anchor systems, a set of chocks and some bolts.
ROC DE LA GUILLA
This is a granite set of rocks, facing west and at an altitude of 1,400 metres, in which 33 routes have been opened, equipped with M10 parabolts with lengths ranging from 6 to 25 metres allowing people to practice different kinds of climbing. There are routes of diverse grades: 5, 6 and 7. The climbing zone includes three sectors: El Rebedor, Fa Temps and Caire.
|1||Bruto tempo||15 m||5c|
|2||Independència total||15 m||5b|
|3||Classificació ACR||18 m||6a|
|4||La pedra é mobile||15 m||7c|
|5||Caire rai||15 m||5a|
|6||Els furtius||15 m||5c|
|8||Sorra de dos||15 m||5b|
|9||Quatre passes||10 m||6b|
|10||Els mataplats||10 m||6b|
|11||Carrer formigues||10 m||6a|
|12||Som i serem||10 m||6a|
|13||Vais vere volare||10 m||6b|
|14||Del roc no es guilla||10 m||6a|
|15||El cuc||10 m||6a+|
|16||Els perdigons ens toquen els collons||10 m||6a+|
|17||Al tanto amb el green-pi||6 m||–|
|19||Quincella-boy e quincalleta||6 m||–|
|20||Terra promesa||6 m||–|
A south-west facing via ferrata, with an easy to medium level. To get there, you need to come off Les Molleres path and about 50 metres on take the path to the right and follow it for some ten minutes to the foot of the via. The difference in height is 250 metres up to 1,780 at the summit. The climate can take between one and three-quarter hours and two hours; the descent on foot, on the other hand, is done in an hour. There is a resting area about three quarters of the way up the climb and you need to cross a Tibetan bridge to reach the summit.
PIC DE MONTURULL (TORRE DELS SOLDATS)
From the Pont de Sassanat follow the GR7 to Entremesaigües, where you should turn right to start the climb to the Refugi de Perafita and L’Estany de la Nou. When you come to the pond, follow the GPR signs to the Refugi de Claror, and from there, go up the scree that goes down from the Pic Negre to get to the col. Then you only need to follow the wide crest line to the summit. The descent follows the same route.
- Approximate time: 8 hours (you can take two days, spending a night in the Refugi de Claror)
- Climb: 1,350 metres
- Difficulty: average
PIC DE LES ÀGOLS
Climb up the Carretera dels Cortals d’Encamp (CS220) to the Carretera de les Pardines (km 3.5). You will come to some water tanks and you should take the path on their left, marked with yellow points, until you come to Les Agols path. Follow the path to the Refugi de Les Agols. When you get to the refuge, follow the indications for the Pic de les Agols, going along the crest of the L’Estany Blau, to the Estanys Forcats from where you can make out the refuge and the Estany de l’Illa.
- Approximate time: 5 hours
- Climb: 1,100 metres
- Difficulty: easy
PIC DE LA PORTELLETA (TOSSA PLANA DE LLES)
Go upstream the River Madriu to the Refugi del Riu dels Orris, where you cross the river and carry on heading south, going up slopes of grass and marshes to the upper area of the screes. A stony channel with a steep slope leads to the Port de Setut, from where you need to turn towards the east, following the line of the rocky crest (easy) to the Pic de Setut. The climb continues towards the south-east and towards the east soon after, along the almost flat ridge and the grassy ramp that leads to the summit. For the descent, take the easy slopes, to the north-east, that lead to the Collada de la Portelleta, and from there go down a very steep stone ramp until the foot of the Portelleta Cirque, then carry on heading north to the River Madriu.
- Approximate time: 2 hours (from Setut to the summit)
- Climb: 600 metres
- Difficulty: easy
ALT DEL GRIU I PIC D’ENSAGENTS
On the Carretera dels Cortals d’Encamp (CS-220), at the climbing wall, take the path towards the river, crossing a hanging bridge. Follow the track until you come to a wooden signpost which indicates the Bosc del Campeà path. Follow the yellow points until you come to Prat de Baix and continue as indicated by a wooden signpost pointing left, Collada d’Entinyola and come to the Estanys d’Ensagents. From here, climb the Pic del Griu, taking the path on the left. Go down following the crest line until you come to the Collades Baixes d’Emportona, and you will finally come to the Pic d’Ensagents. If you wish, you can carry along the crest line to the Collada dels Pessons.
- Approximate time: 4 hours
- Climb: 700 metres
- Difficulty: average-high
LA MUGA, ALONG THE NORTH-EAST RIDGE
From the Refugi de l’Illa, take the path that heads off south-east towards the Port de Vallcivera. Cross the port and continue diagonally towards the right, heading towards the north-west slope of the Muga to the foot of the bridge that stands out on the left. The first stretch, which is quite aerial, soon gains height between towers and breccia, although it is not very difficult. From here on, the ridge spreads gradually up to the summit. The descent is done along the west ridge to the Coll de la Muga and takes the path to the Coll de Vallcivera and the refuge.
- Approximate time: 2 hours (from the refuge)
- Climb: 400 metres
- Difficulty: easy-average