Having been monitoring the weather forecast for a couple of options for a cheeky getaway a window opened up to go to Andorra. Toys in the van and off we set for 4 nights camping in Canillo. Breezy found a lovely small campsite in the town centre within easy reach of supplies and restaurants.
On route we stopped in Ax-les-Thermes for a spot of climbing. Once we found the crag we could make no sense of the guidebook. We climbed, had our fill, and passed the actual crag on the way out. Next time we will know where to go.
First day in Canillo we tackled the Roc del Quer directisimo via ferrata. A short walk from the campsite to the start by the main road then an hour and twenty up to the viewing platform at the top. Nice mix of metal rungs and rock holds and some fairly steep sections. In the afternoon, climbing at Cascade D’Urina, a couple of km outside the town. This little crag with a waterfall tumbling in the middle did actually resemble the guide book.
Day two – Vall D’Incles – hitched up the road to the car park with an Andorran Mountain Guide who was super helpful on routes. Very pretty trail up to Refuge Juclar and up to Collada Juclar and into France. A traverse over to Etangs de Fontargenta, pop back over the border at Port de Fontargenta and back through irises to the car park where we got the solar powered bus back to the van.
Saturday – Via Ferrata Pic de Bony – Drove to Grau Roig and took a custom ascent route to get to the base of the via ferrata. Once again we had the place to ourselves, and again a good mix of metal and rock. An hour up for a picnic at the top then descent walk back to the van.
Sunday – Pic de Montmalus, Cretes des Pessons to Portella dels Pessons and return via the lakes. Beautiful route up to the Col on the ridge. Pretty near the top we could hear the screeching of brakes and saw what looked like three mountain bikers descending the very rocky trail towards us. When they got closer we realised they were actually on Enduro motorbikes. Good skills! The ridge was lovely with a steep climb up to Pic de Ribuls. Our chosen descent back down to the lakes was a scree and boulder filled gully and then a field of huge boulders with little marking a not very well used trail. Got back to the van by 3.15pm to start the drive back to the barn.
Fantastic few days away with little time to read a book but a complete recharge of the batteries. Brilliant!