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Pico de la Forqueta (3,007 ms) is a summit located in the Massif of Posets, to the south of the Col of Eriste (or Forqueta de Eriste), from which it takes the name and that separates it of the central nucleus of the massif. As it happens in all the massif, its structure is complicated, with curved ridges crossing in all directions, small lakes in the most unsuspected places or streams than born to disappear anywhere. Although the predominant rock is the granite, this was mixed with soluble minerals, which has led to this surprising relief. The hollows left by those missing materials drain with much rapidity the high areas, extremely barren, whereas the accumulate humidity is much in the valley bottoms, under the 2,000 ms, where dense mixed mountain forests prosper. Another consequence of the abundance of intrusive rocks in the granite is the variety of colors, with frequent red, black and even greenish layers between the typical gray colors.
Pico de la Forqueta projects several ridges, all of them narrow and rugged, where there are several secondary peaks, with prominences under 100 ms (300 fts). First, the west ridge, with several breachs, which rises in Pico Millares (2,942 ms), just before the homonym col, which separates the group of Forqueta and Picos de Eriste. The south-east ridge begins with the other threethousander of the group, the Point SE of Forqueta (3,004 ms); after that, it descends and is narrowed until Pico de los Turets (2,952 ms), that is another knot of ridges. One of them goes towards the Tuca (Tower) of Llantia (2,837 ms, also called Bagüeña), extending very far, in lower altitudes, between valleys of Eriste and La Vall. The other ridge goes to the east and passes through several small needles and breaches, culminating in its end in the spectacular Needles of Forcau (2,865 and 2.786 ms).
Before continue, I want to clarify why I call Turets to this modest peak that appears anonymous in the present maps. During some years, between the decades of 1950 and 1990, Pico de la Forqueta was called sometimes Turets by error. That has been corrected later but then… what was Turets? Turet means "small rock standing on a ridge" in local dialect. Looking among old papers, I have found a sketch map published in 1948 (Editorial Mont Blanc, Barcelona) where call “los Turets” (plural) to the small needles on the ridge beetwen this peak and the breach (2,815) previous to Forcau. I think that we can call Pico de los Turets to this 2,952 ms point.
Forqueta is one of the most modest and less known peaks over 3,000 ms in the Pyrenees. In fact, it was climbed for the first time in august 12, 1905, when the great summits had been all conquered decades ago, by Le Bondider, with the guide J.M. Sansuc. They went up by the current normal path of Col of Eriste. Regarding to other peaks of the group, the first ascent to Llantia was made by Brulle and C. Passet in 1911 and, the two needles of Forcau, by H. and R. Brulle in 1913.
The panorama from the summit of Pico de la Forqueta is very beautiful, especially towards the north and east, where the rest of the massif rises and the peaks of the Maladeta are seen in the horizon. To the west, the view arrives until Monte Perdido.
From the Valley of Bielsa, the base would be Viadós (Valley of Chistau). In this case, there are different sorts of accomodation in Plan and other facilities in Ainsa or Bielsa.
From the Valley of Benasque, the most logical routes start in Eriste or surrounding places. Although there are some facilities in this village, it is possible to find almost everything in Benasque, that is only to 3 km.
Public transport in this area is very deficient. You can arrive to Huesca from Madrid or Barcelona via Zaragoza by train (information and ticket reservations in this link). From there, adventure begins: only by bus, few each day and with frequents change of schedule. Anyway, here is the main bus company website.
Bus station of Huesca telephone number: 00 33 974210700 (service only in spanish).
For a convenient route by car from our point of departure, I recommend to use the Michelin website. In the case of Viados, the last 10 km are a dirt road suitable by a normal car.
The whole Massif of Posets is included in a natural reserve. No permits are required but it is forbiden:
- Do campfire
- Hunt or collect plants or animals
- Keep pets without tying
- Park cars outside signalized areas
Vibouac is allowed but to set a tent is limited: exclusively at nigth (8 PM to 8 AM) and changing location every day.
Camping and Huts
The ascents in the group of Forqueta can follow three axes. For each of them, these resources are available.
1. Valley of Eriste (Benasque side)
- Camping (with the Red Tape section restrictions) or vibouac in Pleta de Riberes, a landing grass with some trees and crossed by a stream, at 1,800 m. Accesible from Eriste (2h15 / 700 ms elevation gain) or Pleta del Estallo (5 km of dirt road faisible by car plus 45 minutes / 250 ms elevation gain).
- Angel Orús (or Forcau) Hut: served hut at 2,100 ms , open all year. In summer and major holidays is advisable to reserve in advance. For information and contact, website of the Mountaineering Federation of Aragón. Accesible from Eriste (3h15 / 1,000 ms elevation gain) or Pleta del Estallo (5 km of dirt road faisible by car plus 1h45 / 550 ms elevation gain).
2. Valley of Bagüeña or La Vall (Benasque side)
- Camping (with the Red Tape section restrictions) or vibouac in Pleta de La Vall, a landing grass with some trees and crossed by a stream, at 2,000 m. There are two little huts, visibles from the landing itself but are in very poor condition. Accesible from Eriste or Guayente (3h15 in both cases / 900 ms elevation gain) or Tramarius bridge (2 km of dirt road plus 2h45 / 700 ms elevation gain).
3. Valley of Ribereta (Bielsa side)
- Viadós Hut: served hut at 1,600 ms , open from june to september and some weekends the rest of the year (changing every year, is convenient a previous call to confirm dates). For information and contact, website of the Mountaineering Federation of Aragón. It is advisable to reserve in advance. When closed, there is a free little hut for six people. Accesible from San Juan de Plan by car when open (10 km of dirt road).
Most Common Routes
Pico de la Forqueta:
- Northwest ridge, through Col of Eriste, from Angel Orus Hut or Viadós (F). The most usual.
- West face, from Valley of Bagüeña (PD).
Point SE of Forqueta: From Pico de la Forqueta, by the ridge (F+).
- Norhteast side from Angel Orus Hut (F+).
- From Point SE of Forqueta, by the ridge (F).
Millares: From Pico de la Forqueta, by the ridge (AD).
Llantia: Whole ridge between Southeast and Northwest breaches, from Angel Orus Hut or Pleta de la Vall (PD+).
High Needle of Forcau: South face from Angel Orus Hut (F+).
Low Needle of Forcau: Southeast face from Angel Orus Hut (PD+).
Other Practical InfosFor regional / local weather forecast: Spanish government weather agency.
Cartography: Editorial Alpina, digital sheet "Posets".