Balcón de Pineta

Balcón de Pineta

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 42.68900°N / 0.01600°E
Additional Information Route Type: Basic snow/glacier climb
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Circus of Pineta from the...Pineta Trailhead

This is quite a long route. Though it can be made from Pineta to the summit in a single day, bear in mind that this might mean some fourteen hours walking. An alternative idea could be to sleep overnight at the Balcón de Pineta, either in a bivouac or in the nearby Tucarroya Mountain Hut (placed in the Brecha de Tucarroya or Tuquerouya). I had some communications ascertaining the possibility to camp in the Balcón de Pineta, but I'm not sure about the regulations of the National Park on this subject. Check them before considering the camping idea.
You have to get to the valley of Pineta, on the eastern side of Monte Perdido (see main page). Start walking from the Parador Nacional de Pineta

Route Description

Skecht of route up to Balcón...Pineta to Balcón de Pineta
Sketch of route from Balcón...Into the glacier

First thing to do is cross the river Cinca, following the sign posts to enter the National Park (the Parador is on the very edge of the Park). After crossing the river you will find a big dirt track leading to your right (northwest). Follow it. After some fifteen or twenty minutes walking, the track turns right when crossing a river and a wooden sign on its left side marks "Balcón de Pineta" and "Cascadas del Cinca". Quit the track and follow the marked path. It is a nice, though sometimes steep, walk up the walls of the circus lasting some three hours. After that time you will climb a scree slope known as "el embudo" and you will finally see the Cross of Gravalos and the north face of Monte Perdido. The Balcón de Pineta will open up before you.
Next thing to do will be a turn to the west (left), to face the north side of Monte Perdido. There are rocky steps, separated by the Glacier of Monte Perdido, to deal with. The lower one should be climbed by one of the two rocky couloirs seen in the lower picture to the left. It is quite an easy grade II climb where rookies might find useful to have a rope around. After that, you will find yourself on the Glacier and turn right (north-west) in search of the second step.
When you get to the Collado del Cilindro beautiful views (picture by Waspee) shall be below you. The only thing to do will be to come down to the Lago Helado (the lake below you) and join the couloir of the normal route.

Essential Gear

It is essential to bring ice climbing equipment, at the very least crampons and ice axe. In winter time a climbing harness and rope can be extremely useful.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Rafa Bartolome

Rafa Bartolome - Jul 3, 2003 7:00 am - Voted 10/10

Route Comment

This route is very long and generally it needs to plan the strategy and to choose the place to sleep (5h 30 min to Balcón de Pineta and 3 h more up to Monte Perdido) For example, can take the tent and encamp in the Balcón de Pineta climbing Monte Perdido on the following day or to climb Monte Perdido and sleep after make the summit (to descend up to the Parking or the mountain hut of Góriz to sleep in only one day is very hard: more than 14 hours of trek!! This is not accessible for the majority of the people).


wschueller - Aug 10, 2014 7:05 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

July 2014. ***Not summited*** Indeed this would be a very long day with the risk of thunderstorms in the afternoon. However it can be done with an early start, a light pack and under good conditions. Some observations: The ascent to the Pineta is beautiful, surrounded by one water fall after the other. Very steep but overall good trail with plenty of opportunities to refill water. This hike on its own is worth the effort. Watch out for early, unmarked offshoots (to the left) from the road in the valley prior to the start of the actual marked trail up the Balcon. These other trails will head to the water falls and will cause a great deal of confusion and grievances if you are heading for Perdido. The different routes up the head wall from the Pineta to the saddle were wet, icy and snow covered in July 2014, and possibly called for protection ... did not attempt. An overnight at the Pineta plateau is doable (and I understand permissible) although running water might be limited in early season. And the very steep ascend up the trail with a heavy pack should be considered. Best deal for nearby lodging options with good selection of food would be the town of Bielsa, some 15 min drive away from the end of the valley. There is a private camp ground half way to the end of the road that offers showers (and tent camping) at reasonable prices.


eza - Sep 24, 2014 12:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Route Comment

Thanks for your comments, wschueller. Regarding the possibility to sleep at the Pineta plateau, it is feasible but you MUST comply with the National Park regulations (

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