Pala de Ip is one of the great mountains of the valley of Canfranc and the highest second of the circus of Ip after Peña Collarada. Their it extended form with their two tops characteristic do that its silhouette be easy to recognize and it cause their name (Pala mean spade or shovel). The western summit is the highest and principal and generally the people don't climb the eastern or secondary but the route is possible to join both summits in a few of minuts (for curiosity, only 5 meters of difference between the two tops, less in some maps). The final ridge is very spectacullar in the edge of the “spade” with the great fall of canal de Izas (north) and lake of Ip (south) and is grade I with great fall (is very easy without snow but it's impressive for some people).
Two normal routes to reach the summit: canal de Izas and dam of Ip, but because the longest itinerary of Izas, the most popular is across the cirque of Ip. The great slope and the long route to all the mountains of this circus as Escarra or Collarada it make advisable the night in the area of the dam for many people. The trained mountaineers make the climb generally in one long day.
Getting ThereTrailhead: village of Canfranc ("Canfranc pueblo" and not "Canfranc estación" that is at 9 km).
Airports: Zaragoza (164 km), Barcelona (381 km)
-From Zaragoza to Huesca (72 km), highway. From Huesca to Jaca for N330 and continue to Villanua and Canfranc.
-From Barcelona: highway A2 to Lleida (or Lérida). From Lleida take N240 in direction to Binefar and Monzón to Huesca.
Others access: train (company renfe) and bus (company Alosa)
-Train Barcelona-Zaragoza. From Zaragoza to Canfranc in bus-see Alosa for hours.
-From Zaragoza to Canfranc in bus-see Alosa for hours.
Red TapeNo permits required, not fees.
When To ClimbCrampons and ice axe are necessary in winter and generally early in the season (may, june), july-september (summer) is a good season without snow but the wide corridor had a lot of stones. Personally I prefer the springtime reaching the upper side of the corridor (“canchalera”) with crampons in the snow that remain but the access of the final ridge is more exposed.
Camping-Mountain Huts (Refuges):
-Refugio de Canfranc (Tel:974-373217)-Canfranc pueblo.
-Refugio Tritón (Tel:974-378281)-Villanúa.
-Refugio El Aguila (Tel:974-373291)-Candanchú.
-Refugio Valle de Aragón (Tel:974-373222)-Candanchú.
-Hotel Santa Cristina***(Tel:974-373300)-Canfranc Estación.
-Hotel El Reno (Tel:974-378066)-Villanúa.
-Camping Canfranc (cat2)(908-731604)
-Free little huts
-A hut before the ibon de Ip with benths, 5 places.
-Two huts in bad conditions in ibon de Ip, 2-3 places.
-Hotel in ruins for an emergency in ibon de Ip (no walls in some places, bricks and tiles in the ground,...)
Mountain ConditionsFor mountain conditions you can see: I.N.M. (province of Huesca and the village of Canfranc in “localidades”)
Maps-Cuadernos Pirenaicos #6: valle de Canfranc (book in spanish). Map 1:25000. Ed.Sua. ISBN: 84-8216-140-7.
Web of village of Canfranc with tourism information and itineraries in the zone (spanish).
- Valle del Aragón
Information of Villanua and Canfranc with Hotels, tourism, restaurants,...