El Turbón is a one of the most original mountains of the region. Seen from the spanish point of view, this is one of the first "high" mountains (almost 2500) away from the main range, a lone giant standing in the forehills of the pre-Pirineos, which make it a fine viewpoint to the rest of the range as we can expect.
For the french, this is a puzzling remote destination, about as remote from the Cotiella, than Cotiella is already remote himself from the main range. Turbón stands like an african mountain in the dust of the southern skyline.
Not only El Turbón si original by its location, but also by its shape. The mountain is a huge horseshoe, a huge U with a deep central corrie in the middle, the Coma de San Adrián, which ends on a pass named Collado de la Portella. The smallest of the two mountainsides is called "Turbonet".
Two theories could explain the name's etymology. The most probable, according to an informative page about Ribagorça region, indicates that Turbón comes from the vulgar latin word turbo-onis, (storm, torment), meteorological events that often occur on the mountain.
But the shape is another possible explanation : one of the two walls being slightly higher than the other, Turbón inspires a kind of growing spiral, a "turban". "Turbo" in latin also means "torbellino", vortex in spanish; turbina means turbin. All of these tend to the spiral shape.
Finally, El Turbón is original by its geology. It is a limestone mountain standing on a granitic ground. The western ridge of the horseshoe, the tallest of the two and owning the summit, provides some of the most original limestone layered shapes and outcrops one can admire in the whole Pyrenees.
Talking about myths and legends, El Turbón is packed with stories. It starts during the mythology when, during floodings, the local gods chose the place for the location of their forge, in order to spread thunderlights properly on the surrounding villages. The Arch of Noe landed there too, and sorceries of the high Aragon gathered weekly as well as during Christmas's eve, to dance around the fire in caves and celebrate the evil. Those sorceries would be responsible of the storms and icerains that felt from time to time around. Some local sayings tell that the sorceries change their clothes in the evening sun, or that when Turbón is topped by clouds, storms are awaiting in the Aragon. The satanic legends are somehow similar to those that refer to the neighbouring mountain of the Cotiella. Some other tell that the mountain is a petrified giant inhabited by elves, causing all the trouble in the region (curious coincidence ! :). Source : El Turbón, the magic mountain (spanish).
Getting to the mountain is as simple from Spain and the town of Lleida, than it is complicated from France. Three trailheads are commonly used: Llert (near Esterún), Vilas del Turbón, and La Muria (near Espés). All three of them are reached via the N230, Benabarre, and then north in the direction of Lascuarre and Isábena.
From France, the point on which we cross the border depends partly from the trailhead we choose, and above all from where we come from.
The Aran valley is advised for those coming East on the A64 (Saint Gaudens), while the Aure valley is prefered from the West (Lannemezan). The first might logically prefer La Muria, involving less driving, while the others Esterún for the same reason, via Campo and Foradada del Toscar. Both options, especially the last, provide stunning landscapes while driving, which is the rewarding side of the long access.
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* From the north (La Muria): Finding the start is tricky: look for the large path leading to the pass Montañeta de San Feliu, at the very end of Selvaplana. Later the trail is well cairned. The Coma de San Adrián appears unexpectedly and quite late, and then we can choose walking it, or rather the eastern mountainside, mostly flat and gradual, with stunning views to the other side. The summit is reached after the central pass, and the descent to the north slightly more techical, with some easy scramble on the limestone outcrops. One must read well the landscape to notice the route that will lead back to the San Adrián corrie and Montañeta (from a good description made by Philippe Queinnec).
* From the South, Vilas del Turbón.
The East wall of the mountain can be reached from this side, according to a description on the website www.pirineos3000.com
* From the East, the village of Llert and the Margalita hut.
We leave the Llert road to take a track leading to the Margalita hut at 1434m. Then we take a narrow valley to the north that leads after few scrambles to the vallée suspendue de Coma de San Adrián valley, dominated by beautiful cliffs. The rest of the route is identical as the previous options. (from a good trip report of Daniel Duprat)
* From the East, the village of Pueyoand La Plana hut.
Another description on www.pirineos3000.com describe an access to the western mountainside from the hut of La Plana, reached by the land rover track from Pueyo (the topo tells Bucuesa, a place that I cannot locate).
Accomodations[img:458669:alignleft:small:Cabaña del Turbón][img:656497:alignright:small:Forest track from La Muria][img:458672:alignleft:small:Cabaña del Turbón]
[img:656496:alignright:small:Cabaña La Muria][img:656501:alignleft:small:Edelweiss][img:659645:alignright:small:From Amurriadó]
* Wild-camping, bivouacking : The mountain is out of any national park, so in theory no regulations. However, do it discretly over the tree-line far from houses. The Coma de San Adrián could be a place for that.
* Mountain huts: none, but two sherperd huts are located nearby: La Plana and Margalita. No information is available for "Refugio de la Plana" (is it really opened to hikers ?), as for Margalita, it is normally the property of the sherperds, but they can tolerate if you ask politely.
* Accomodation in the valleys: the touristic region of Ribagorza offers a lot in this domain. See some touristic portals like www.ribagorza.com.