OverviewThis is, probably, the easiest and more popular of the three routes that are normally followed to summit Punta Alta. Therefore, it has become the 'Normal Route' on the mountain. It departs from the hut of Ventosa i Calvell, walks to the SE to the Estany de la Roca (Lake of the Rock), gains the south saddle and climbs over a steep couloir to the summit. It has 900 heigh meters and it takes 3 hours to complete (a little bit more in winter, depending of the snow condition). It is clasified as 'F' and it consist on a walk with a steep section at the final couloir, and a small and easy scramble before the top.
Getting ThereThe ‘Refugio de Ventosa i Calvell’, from where one of the ascends can be done, is reached in two and a half hours over a mountain path that starts at the ‘Embalse de Cavallers’ (1.785 m), 4 km from Caldes de Boí. From the parking next to the dam, the road continues to the right side of the dam, where the walking path starts along the right side of the water (northern bearing). This part of the path can be dangerous in winter when a steep slope of (hard) snow falls towards the icy dam’s shore. There are, at least, two points on this part of the path, with avalanche risk. Passed the dam, the track rises to the grassy plains of Riumalo (1.890 m), where the path continues next to the left bank of the river (walking with the river to the left). A wooden bridge crosses the riverbed and a steep walk among granite rocks and walls starts (Barranc Llastres). Once up, the terrain levels again and there is a clear view over the ‘Estany Negre’ (Black Lake) to the right, some meters down the valley. The walk continues on eastern direction along the north side of the lake for about 15 minutes till the hut is seen over a big granite promenade.
Starting at the Hut of Ventosa i Calvell (2.220 m) descend with ESE direction to a small alpine lake at the bottom of the Vall de Colieto. The route pass among big rocks at the right side of the stream (left of the lake, when coming from the hut) and it reaches a second, bigger, lake called Estany Gran de Colieto (2.183 m). This lake is surronded by the left shore too. Passing it the way continues with a SSO bearing towards the Estany de la Roca (with a big boulder as an island in the middle of the lake). This lake is bordered by the right (west) till a small coulour rises along a stream of water (usually dry in the summer).
A plateau with a big and vertical rocky wall to the right is reached. The route follows to the left of that wall direction a second plateau called 'La Raconada'. At this point there is a clear view of the last slopes till the saddle, and even from the saddle to the summit.
The ridge is reached at 2.799 m at the saddle that joins Cap Brau (2.832 m), to the north, and Punta Alta (south). From the saddle there is a steep couloir of broken rock with south direction till the summit.
Essential GearGood Mountain boots, alpine clothes for cold and wet weather, sunglasses, suncream, cap, plenty of water and some food.
In winter: crampons, ice axe, gaiters and extra warm clothes.