Culebras on horseback

Culebras on horseback

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 42.59430°N / 0.65710°E
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 8, 2004

Two cousins and me needed two nights for climbing Vallibierna by the NE face. We started in the evening at the camping of Pla de Senarta (1.335 m), where we were past the last night. Soon it got dark while we ascended on the forest trail of Vallibierna wearing our headlamps. Near Cabaña del Quillón we reached a group of Catalonians who had past us at the beginning of the trail. We were walking with them til one of them got tired and they decided to wait him. Finally we past Refugio de Coronas, prepared dinner on a meadow and vivouaqued in a more flat one. It started to rain at 6:00 AM so we covered us with the cloth of the tent. Hopefully it didn't rain too much. 1st day: 2 h 35 min.

The next day we waited til the cloth and the sleeping bags dried. At 2:00 PM we contined walking on the GR 11 trail, we past many people, reached Pleta de Llosás and it started to rain when we were at approx 2.305 m. We sheltered below a pine and put our rain wear on. It lasted 40 minutes that used for eating something and rest. We restarted the hike, we carried rather heavy backpacks so the pace was slow. Left Ibón (mountain lake) Blanco de Vallibierna to the right, a low elevation to the left, did a break for having siesta (true) and reached Ibón Alto de Vallibierna. We were looking for a good place for pitching the tent. Some were uneven, others were wet and a French was occupying the only possible flat. So we surrounded the lake and pitched our tent in a little vivy near the shore of a little lake that is behind the other (2.480 m). 2nd day: 4h 45 min (much less is needed).

The night had been nice and the sky was clear in the morning. So we were going to attempt Vallibierna and possibly Culebras. At 11:55 AM we started surrounding the big lake and leaving the tent raised. Left GR 11 trail and took a narrow path to the right of Ibón Alto, wich climbs SE wards up to the col 2.719 m.

But we'd take a short cut to the right until reaching it so at approx 2.750 m we did a break for resting (1:05 PM), while we glimpsed the possible route that we were going to follow. Left a tiny lake to the left and started the final slope to the most eastern point of the summital ridge, P 3.038 m (2:05 PM).

The sky was getting covered by a grey cloud that grazed the aerial ridge. My cousin Fernando decided to stop and wait our return from the tops, I'll never know why he did so. Diego and me continued to the top of Vallibierna (3.056 m 2:30 PM). Then we descended to Paso del Caballo, the narrow ridge that join the main summit with Tuca de Culebras. He surrounded Paso del Caballo on the S flank while I returned to Vallibierna. The rocks were too loose and I felt bad in those conditions. Diego climbed the last pitch to the summit of Culebras (3.051 m) and returned to Vallibierna on Paso del Caballo without any rope. Then we past the top of Vallibierna again (3:05 PM) and descended on the summital ridge to the Point 3.038 m, where Fernando was waiting us. A group of Polish came and asked us, in English, how long was the summit. We started descending on scramble and stoped 50 minutes for having lunch at approx. 2.955 m. At 4:25 PM we continued the descent on the same trail of the ascent. Past the wide Col 2.719 m and descended NE wards to the point 2.675 m (rough) of the trail GR11, below Coll de Ballibierna.

Then we ascended to Collada dels Isards (2.803 m / 5:55 PM), where we stayed 20 minutes having eating something and taking some pics. We could see Estany del Cap de la Vall to the E and Tuc de Moliéres (3.010 m) to the NE. Finally we descended to the tent (6:55 PM) almost straightly. We discovered that a paper that a ranger had put in the entry of our tent. It said that it was forbidden leaving the tent pitched during the day so we decided to leave that place the next day. The next day we'd climb Aragüells (3.037 m) after traversing the valleys of Llosás and Coronas. Past a stormy night on the shore of Ibón de Cregüeña. Descended to the Camping of Pla de Senarta (1.335 m) on Valle de Cregüeña firstly and Valle de Benasque finally.

The altitudes given here are those in the "Alpina" maps.


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