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Going for a walk around Arinsal - Line I - to Pic de Coma Pedrosa

Going for a walk around Arinsal - Line I - Map to Pic de Coma Pedrosa

A difficult walk not to be attempted without a detailed map and/or a local guide   [approx. 17km]

  1. Phespirit stayed at Hotel Solana on the main road through Arinsal (1450m). Leaving the hotel and turning right, he began his ascent of Pic de Coma Pedrosa along this road.

  2. At point [2], the road passes through a tunnel in a barrage. Immediately on the other side there is a right turn (1556m) leading to a footpath which can be clearly followed all the way up to point [5], slightly less clearly up to point [7], and very patchily up to the top, point [9].

  3. The only signposted junction in the footpath (1690m) offers a right turn for Pla de l'Estany and the Montmantell Lakes. Phespirit proceeded unswervingly straight ahead for Pic de Coma Pedrosa.

  4. At Aigües Juntes (1790m) - meaning 'Waters Together' - the footpath crosses the Pla de l'Estany stream and the Coma Pedrosa cascades, both within the space of about a hundred metres.

  5. The gradient of ascent gets much steeper after the cascades and the scenery gets proportionally more beautiful. Only when the path emerges here, at the Collet de Coma Pedrosa (2225m), does the gradient finally, mercifully, flatten for any distance. Up to the left is the Coma Pedrosa refuge.

  6. After a gentle stroll across to the far side of this broad, flat, grassy collet encircled by mountains, the ascent resumes in earnest. The path rises alongside a tricking river and fords it at 2275m.

  7. The going underfoot is ever more rough and rocky, the gradient quite steep but consistent, as the path reaches an icy lake: Basses de l'Estany Negre (2590m). Phespirit was mortified to discover it would be necessary to hike around this obstacle across sheer sloping snow. Most precarious.

  8. Another lake - Estany Negre (2628m) - and yet more snow to cross. One slip on this snow would mean an instant unstoppable slide into the freezing water below. Death would not be far behind.

  9. Having survived the lakes and continued walking north, Phespirit reached a high ridge overlooking a string of three more lakes across the Spanish border. Pic de Coma Pedrosa (2942m) appeared to be just a short scramble away up to the right, but it became an interminable, breathless climb. The feeling of light-headed elation on reaching the summit cannot be described.

    A pause to savour the moment ..... then the dizzyingly long walk back down via the same route.

DISCLAIMER: It is strongly recommended that visitors take a local map or guide when setting out on this walk; Phespirit accepts no responsibility if the use of this web page results in visitors becoming lost, injured, maimed, killed or sunburned.

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