OverviewPic de Medecourbe is a peak located in Pyrenees mountains, in the northwest part of Andorra, about 15 km from andorran capital city - Andorra La Vella. It's not very popular as a target of climbing. Most climbers goes to this region to climb the highest peak of Andorra- Coma Pedrosa, which is situated about 2 km from Pic de Medecourbe. But there are almost 3 reasons to climb this mountain:
1.Its location is special: it's situated on the place, where 3 borders (Spain-Andorra, Andorra-France and France-Spain) join in the 1 point.
2.With 2913 meters of altitude, Pic de Medecourbe is one of the highest mountains in Andorra (the 5.place after Coma Pedrosa(2946 m), Pic Pla de l’Estany(2931 m) , Roca Entravessada(2928 m) and Pic de la Serrera (2914 m.)).
3.View from summit is beautiful - you can see andorrian villages in the valleys, the nearest high peak- Roca Entravessada, lakes Estanys Forcats and... Maladeta Masive with its glaciers (only on the good weather).
Andorra is a small country situated between Spain and France. There is no airport nor railway connection in Andorra, so you may get there only by car or by bus. By car you must get the N-145 way from La Seu d'Urgell in Spain and pass the border. Bus connections are aviable from Barcelona (Barcelona Sants station), Lleida and La Seu d'Urgell.
From the capital city of Andorra - Andorra La Vella you must get (by bus or car) to Arinsal- small village, well known as a ski resort. In the north part of village, it's a tunnel. The trail starts just behind it. You should go with the red marked GR11 trail and in the place, where it splits - take a GR11.1 variant, and go to the Refugi del Pla de l'Estany- the best place to stay if you need spending a night in the mountains. Then go farther with this trail, till you come to big lakes- Estanys Forcats. From this point Pic de Medecourbe is good visible - it's the highest mountain on your right side. Contiunue with trail GR11.1 until you reach Collada dels Estanys Forcats - pass between Roca Entravessada and Pic de Medecourbe. The trail goes to the Estanys de Baiau lake, but you have to turn right and start climbing. There is no trail to Pic de Medecourbe, but there are milestones leading to the top, so you may use it. The way is not very hard, but sometimes you will have to use hands. The summit is marked with metal rod. Hiking takes about 4,5 hours.
You have to go with GR11 trail in direction from the Vall Ferrera Refuge to Refugi de Baiau (J.M. Monfort Refuge). From there, go with the GR11.1 variant until you reach Collada dels Estanys Forcats - pass between Roca Entravessada and Pic de Medecourbe. The trail goes to the Estanys de Baiau lake, but you have to turn right and start climbing. There is no trail to Pic de Medecourbe, but there are milestones leading to the top, so you may use it. The way is not very hard, but sometimes you will have to use hands. The summit is marked with metal rod.
You may also get to Refugi de Baiau from the other side - from Arinsal (in this case, you may spend a night in the Refugi de Coma Pedrosa.
Red TapeThere is no red tape.
Threre are many posibilities of camping in this area:
1. Arinsal - you may spend a night in one of the hotels in Arinsal. It's the most comfortable case, but most expensive, and the way to summit is the longest (but it's possible to go up and down in one day).
2.Refugi del Pla de l'Estany - It's a free refuge without a service. There are 6 places to sleep, but you have to have a sleeping bag.
3.Refugi de Baiau - free refuge without a service, but on the spanish side of border. The way to the summit from this place is the shortest.
4.Refugi de Coma Pedrosa - Andorran refuge with service.(prices in 2007 season: 9e - spending a night, 14e - breakfast). The way to Pic de Medecourbe from this refuge is medium long. Descend from Port de Baiau may be demanding, especially in rain.
Andorran tripoints - Site about andorran tripoints.
GR11 - Informations about GR11 trail.
NOVATEL - Coaches to Andorra (you can rent a car also)
Andorramania - Tourist information about Andorra.
When to climbPic de Medecourbe is accessible all year. Of course the hardest conditions are in winter (crampons and ice axe might be useful).
1. Andorra has a 2 tripoints (points, where where 3 borders join in the 1 point)- first is on Portella Blanca pass, the second is on the Pic de Medecourbe summit.
2. When you hike from Arinsal, you have to go through the tunell in the big wall. This wall was built to preserve Arinsal from avalanches. People in Andorra call them "Great wall of China".
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