Circo de Ip
is one of the most characteristic and excellent mounts of the western Pyrenees. It is nota peak of 3000m but the great slope to climb overcomes that of the majority of big heights of the Pyrenees. Its 2,886 meters constitutes the first great elevation of this mountainous chain from the west before all three thousands of Panticosa and Balaitous (valley of Tena). This peak is located in the union between Tena and Canfranc's valleys in the Pyrenees of Huesca and its name comes probably from the necklace ("collar") of heights that surround the cone of the top. In the access to the north face is the idyllic Circo de Ip
where meets the dam of the same name surrounded with considerable heights as La Moleta (2576m), Pala de Ip (2783m), Punta Escarra (2760m), Pico del Aguila (2695m) and Bucuesa (2763m). Of all these mounts Collarada stands out for its height and the form of its summit as if it was the cherry of a great tart.
The normal route to climb this mountain goes across the dam of Ip, being the nicest and satisfactory for the mountaineers though other possibilities exist from Villanua with changes in last years (see red tape section)
First climb: H.Russell & J.Labarthe, 16th july 1876.
Trailhead: village of Canfranc
("Canfranc pueblo" and not "Canfranc estación" that is at 9 km).
: 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.
: 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.
No permits required for the route of Circo de Ip.
The route of Villanua
(thanks to ojo): Up-date on access from Villanua/La Trapa (south). Changes to access to La Trapa (track from Villanúa) for private vehicles. Between 1 May and 30 September, no permits are granted, as far as I can make out. Instead, a 4x4 jeep (or minibus) service has been put in place for access to the Refugio de la Espata, 1,690m (for Punta Espata or for the access to Collarada via Collado de Ip, for example) or for the higher-up Refugio de la Trapa, 1,720m.
Timetable and Prices here
. RESERVATION RECOMMENDED, especially if you want to make use of the early morning - 06:00h or the 07.30h - service. It is promoted for BTT (bike) with a network of BTT routes between La Trapa and Villanua, but is ideal for walkers who want to climb Collarada without hiking nearly 800m of ascent from Villanua (941m altitud) to La Trapa.
* Outside the above dates you will still need to seek a permit (well before the day you wish to have access) as detailed in the route information here. And by the way, I can confirm that the track from Villanua is not appropriate for a non-4x4 vehicle.
Crampons and ice axe are necessary generally the whole year except july to september in the route of Circo de Ip.
When To Climb
The Collarada is accessible almost the whole year. It's easier in summer with still snow in north face but it's a good climb in late winter for mountaineers with experience (crampons, ice axe and rope) but very long (2 days).
-Refuges / Lodges
-Refugio de Canfranc
-Albergue Pepito Grillo
(Tel 974 373123)-Canfranc pueblo.
-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)-? (it's not open on summer 2010)
-Escarrilla at 16km
-Free little huts
-A hut before the ibon de Ip with benths, 5 places.
-Two huts in very 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,...)
For mountain conditions you can to visit: I.N.M.
(see province of Huesca and the village of Canfranc in “localidades”)
Maps / Guidebooks
-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 anb a lot of itineraries in the zone (spanish).
- Valle del Aragón
Information of Villanua and Canfranc with Hotels, tourism, restaurants,...
- Los Pirineos
Information about this mountain chain (english).
Complete information of the Pyrinees: valleys, mountain huts,...(spanish/french).
- Mendikat: Collarada