Activities around the shelter
The location of the Refuge within the Natural Park offers a very favorable environment for practicing all mountain sports

Hikking

Data:

Distance: 6.4 Km
Slope: 685 m.
Signposted: No
Time: 4h

Description:

The walk starts at Josep Maria Blanc mountain hut (2,350 m), which can be reached from Espot in 2 hours 45 minutes following the path marked as GR-11-20, at Lladres lake.

From the refuge we walk to a path which follows the foot of the dam on Tort de Peguera lake. The well-marked path then climbs, westwards, till it reaches a water channel. We cross this and continue to climb until we reach a small plateau beside La Cabana lake, which we skirt on its left-hand shore.

We now head south-west, following the path to La Coveta lake up to the watershed (2,400 m).

From here, we continue to the west along a cairned path which climbs gently to the right to Coma de Peguera (coomb). The small Peguera lake is below us on our left and we climb the left-hand slope of its basin.

We climb to the right, heading north-west half-way up the slope to avoid the scree at the foot of the southern cliffs of the lower Monestero peak. Once past this obstacle, we leave Gran de Peguera lake far below us on our left and follow the path round across almost flat terrain with grassy patches, to the large Coll de Monestero (2,715 m).

We must now follow the path which skirts Peguera’s northern arête. We cross a slippery slope, always within sight of a rocky channel at the base of which there is often snow.

We must be careful not to dislodge stones as we climb to the top of the crest. The last 20 metres involve climbing (level II) over great granite blocks which are much safer than they look.

After two and a half hours we are at the summit of Pic de Peguera (2,983 m), a great rock on a sharp crest which slowly descends to the south.

Practical information

For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.

You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions . You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.

High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.

Data:

Distance: 5.5 km
Slope: 700 m
Signalpost: No
Time: 4h 30min

Description:

The walk starts at Refugi Josep Maria Blanc (2,350 m), which can be reached from Espot in 2 hours 45 minutes following the path marked as GR-11-20, via Lladres lake.

On leaving the refuge we walk to the dam on Tort de Peguera lake and pick up a path along the foot of the dam. From here we take a cairned path which climbs above the northern shore of the lake and heads west towards a water channel. We cross this and keep climbing till we reach a small plateau beside La Cabana lake. We carry on down a short drop to its outlet (2,378 m). Once at the northern-most point of the lake we follow a channel up to the west, following the cairns to the shelves above. We continue to the north-west through beautiful landscape, passing a hidden tarn (2,506 m) which is in an area called Estanys Escondits, or “Hidden Lakes”. To the west we can see the two peaks of Monestero.

A little bit further up we pass another tarn on our right (2,550 m). We keep climbing this basin to the west to a series of lakes. We keep to the track, which is easy to follow, reaching another pool with a large rock at its side (2,600 m).

We pass the pool on our left and climb gently to the eastern shore of Amagat lake (or Estany del Pui) (2,620 m).

This long lake is the highest within the National Park’s boundaries and lies, from north to south, beneath grassy slopes dotted with rocks beneath Coll de la Valleta Seca.

To reach the summit of Monestero we walk to the left-hand (western) pass between Pic de la Valleta Seca (2,836 m) and Monestero. From this pass (2,793 m) we climb southwards along a rocky stretch through treeless terrain that is covered in grassy patches. We follow the sheep tracks to the top of Monestero (2,878 m), crowned by a great rock field. From here we can see a wonderful panorama of the surrounding mountains.

We come down from the summit to the north-east, without losing much altitude, until we reach Coll de la Valleta Seca (2,722 m). We carefully descend a channel of granite sand, where it is difficult to make out a path. It’s a good chance to stop and savour the wildness of this spot.

We cross this long coomb, with small grassy meadows dotted with granite scree. Abundant cairns make it possible to find our away in this unusual environment. On the other side of the valley, we pass the first pine trees on our left and the track gets easier to spot. We continue with the peaks of the Encantats above us.

The walk now leads us into the Samboiné woods, through which we descend easily, heading north all the time.

After about 4 hours 30 minutes’ walking we reach Refugi Ernest Mallafré, at 1,896 metres. Sant Maurici lake, which gives its name to the park, is a few minutes’ walk along a park track which comes up from Espot.

Practical information

For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.

You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions. You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.

High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.

Data:

Distance: 6.1 Km
Slope: 355m
Signalpost: Yes
Time: 4h

Description:

The walk starts at Refugi Josep Maria Blanc, which can be reached from Espot in 2 hours 45 minutes following the path marked as GR-11-20, via Lladres lake.

From Refugi Josep Maria Blanc we take the service road to the dam on Negre de Peguera lake. We cross the graded dyke and then a stream which flows into Trullo and Tort lakes. At the opposite end, we take a cairned path that flanks a difficult spur. There is a trail sign indicating the routes to Coll de Monestero and Collada de Saburó.

There are good views of Tort lake and of the refuge. We reach the other side, at a sort of small pass, and then drop down slightly, heading westwards, until we reach the western-most point of La Coveta lake. We turn left and head south along a well-marked path which takes us to the right-hand shore of Llastra lake, a little lower down. We follow the side of the lake, passing a tarn on our left and crossing a small stream.

We follow the cairns and the path to the small Cubeto lake (2,519 m), gateway to the glacial cirque which conceals the sizeable Cap de Port lake.

To the south looms the rocky profile of Pics de la Mainera. The clear path goes round the lake and climbs to Collada de Saburó (2,669 m).

To access Refugi de Colomina we drop down on the other side, looking for the easiest route across the scree slope, down to a fairly grassy stretch along the shore of Saburó lake at its high-water mark. We head for the lake’s dam across sandy terrain without any real path; we should follow the red and white indications of GR 11-20 which takes us to Pas de l’Ós.

We descend a steep rock staircase which is followed by a paved stretch of path. Further down, the path goes past the northern end of Mar lake. We are now able to see the refuge down below, almost suspended on the natural rock dam which holds back the waters of Colomina lake. The path goes round the northern side of this lake.

After 4 hours and just over 6 km walking we are at the Refugi de Colomina, which is a spectacular wooden haven for walkers.

Practical information

For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.

You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions. You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.

High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.

Data:

Distance: 7.1 km
Slope: 525m
Postsignal: No
Time: 4h

Description:

The walk starts at the Josep Maria Blanc mountain hut (2,350 m), which can be reached from Espot in 2 hours 45 minutes following the path marked as GR-11-20, via Lladres lake.

We leave from behind the refuge and follow the path almost to the dam on Negre de Peguera lake. The path, which is well marked at the beginning, goes off to the left and climbs gently southward through rocks and vegetation, later reaching a fairly grassy area between blocks of granite. We now have splendid photographic frames, with the lake in the foreground. We skirt the lake along the top of the spur, beneath Pic de la Pala d’Eixe.

We walk southwards through the rocks, without climbing too high, following the cairns. We follow a path up the last part of the climb, reaching the lower Montanyó pass at 2,625 metres. A signpost marks the boundary of the national park.

From this pass we climb to the higher pass along a sandy path which is somewhat tiring. The upper Montanyó pass (2,744 m) lies on the fairly flat ridge between Montanyó’s summit and the Picardes peaks. On the other side lie the Maineres meadows and their lakes.

We cross over and walk west, following sheep tracks to the final, easy climb between patches of granite sand and monolithic blocks of stone, until reaching Montanyó (2,779 m).

To climb Picardes we first return to the pass at 2,744 m (the upper pass of Muntanyó). We walk south-east along sheep tracks until we reach, in a slight dip (2,768 m), the massif’s wide saddle. We climb again, slightly to the right of the ridge, following the terraces in the terrain, to the top of Picardes (2,801 m).

Practical information

For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.

You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions. You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.

High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.

Data:

Distance: 13.2Km
Slope: 1000m
Postsignal: senyalitzada
Time: 4h 15min

Description:

We start the walk in the centre of the town of Espot. To get there from Sort, take the C-13 heading north towards Guingueta d’Àneu and just before we get there, at Torrassa reservoir, we take a left turn, along the LV-5004 local road. We take the road which leads towards the ski resort. We quickly reach Feners bridge over the Peguera river, from where we can see Torre dels Moros [“la Torreta”], a Mediaeval watchtower in good condition. Signposts indicate the GR-11-20 long distance path and we follow it to the Josep Maria Blanc mountain hut, first climbing alongside the Peguera. Further along, a path drops down to the left, to Font del Sofre down in the gorge. The spring water here is tepid and has a distinctive colour and taste.

The clearly marked path climbs steeply through the pine trees, crossing the river at Salvador bridge. The beautiful, shady path continues to climb and we again cross the Peguera over a log bridge, emerging into the open. The path now climbs through pastures and we soon cross a small stone wall which bridges a ditch.

The view opens up the higher we climb and the walk passes near Font Grossa torrent, which cascades down the cliffs above us in small waterfalls. This is a good place to stop and fill our water bottles. The path gets steeper and begins to zigzag, soon coming out of the trees. We cross a wide, swampy area over tree trunks.

On our left we can begin to see the dam on Lladres lake. The path now comes out onto a forestry track which comes up from our right. We follow the path, which climbs steeply. On the left, in the gaps between the trees, we can see the lovely Trescuro lakes, surrounded by pine trees and large expanses of aquatic vegetation.

We will soon reach the Romes sheepfold, which acts as a gateway to the upper Peguera valley, once we have climbed the granite wall ahead of us. The track skirts this granite area and on our right we can see the dam to the north-east of Tort de Peguera lake. Shortly afterwards, we leave the track, which goes towards Negre lake, and take a path to the right which will lead us to Refugi Josep Maria Blanc.

We reach this mountain refuge after walking approximately 2 hours 45 minutes (2,350 m). To return, we retrace our steps.

Practical information

For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.

You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions. You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.

High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.

The ledgend

The Crossing of Aigues Tortes and Sant Maurici Lake National Park.

It was the summer of 1987 when some guards of the area refuges decided to make the journey: Pallars – Ribagorça – Aran, in a single day. It was not a competition, only a way to visit the other guards and chat a while.

Someone, we don’t know exactly who, nor why, called it Carros de Foc (chariots of fire). Since then, when someone makes the trip in one day, summer or winter, the message goes from refuge to refuge, as fast as the wind crosses the hills: “Here come the Carros de Foc.”

Since that summer of 1987 many walkers, runners and mountaineers have enjoyed the Carros de Foc journey and many repeat the experience because there are always corners filled with beauty yet to be discovered.

Our challenge is to spread the love we feel for these mountains and show the beauty of this extraordinary journey that this experience provides our clients.

Oficial web of Carros de Foc

Climbing

Route

We leave Refuge JM Blanc to follow the track that takes to the dam of the Black Lake. Then we border it until we arrive upon the Estany of the Ferro. We turn to the South through rocky ground until the foot of the track, very visible under the vertical of the “taca clara” (1h. 30 ‘).

Description

We go up by grassy and rocky meadows until the foot of a channel that leads to a breach of the edge, under the “taca clara” (40m II). We leave by the channel until the edge and we take a dihedron to the right returning again to the edge by the left. (30m III i IV). We follow the edge getting round difficulties by the plate of the right (30m III). We follow the line of the edge until unstable blocks to the foot of the “Dau” visible from down. (25m III). We descend a few meters by the left of the edge and go up by grassy meadows and rocky blocks returning to the right until the edge behind the “Dau” (40m III i II). We go up through slabs by the right slope until we gain the edge and follow it until arriving at a cornice in the left slope (35m III+ i III). We follow the cornice about two meters and go up vertically by a fissure until the blocks of the top (15m III).

Descent

We go down until the mountain pass of Veloki Channel and go down it until the foot of the route. It is also possible to return flanking by the South slope until the mountain pass of Muntayó and going down from there to the refuge .

Difficulty
  • B.D. Shedule of 1st ascent: 3h. 30′.
  • Material: Varied pegs and wedges.
  • First ascent: 13 of August 1979 by Núria Soler, Jaume Fernandez and Carles Mitjà.
Crossing Central Channel – “Font del Llop”

This is an interesting itinerary to start in the ski of steep slopes skiing.

Route

We leave the Refuge J M Blanc. Then we follow the track leading to “Estany Negre”, Just a little before there, we go up by the reliefs leading to the small mountain pass (2.360m approx), under the spurs of “la Pala”. We, then, go down flanking without losing too much height until we reach the foot of the central channel.

Description

The ascent of the Central Channel, easy at the beginning, is straightened and narrowed gradually until the two first thirds (approx.) of its height (50°), becoming easier in the superior third. According to the state of the snow, you can flank by the South slope or follow the edge until the mountain pass of “La Font del llop”. The descent can be made with skis from the mountain pass. The first part is the most difficult one (45°) and the slope smooths as the channel becomes wider. UNEVENNESS: 350m approx. SCHEDULE: Ascent of 1 to 3h according to the state of the snow.

Material

Piolet, prudent crampones and rope or cordino. ATTAINABLE ÈPOCA: Usually general from March to May (variable according to years). 1ST SKI CROSSING: 9 of May of 1979 by Núria Soler, Quim Merlós and Jaume Fernandez.

Note: In the approaching route it is necessary to watch out during the flanking of “la Pala” because of the possible avalanches.In spring it is advisable to do it in the first morning hours.