It was a long day starting in L'Artigue without night in refuge Pinet. I needed 7h to summit of Montcalm and 8h to reach Pica d'Estats. I climbed 2100 m of slope walking 16km in 13h.
Quick weekend escape while on a business trip. I was hoping to climb the SE Ridge but the conditions were too bad. So I went for the rather easy standard approach (which wasn't that easy since I didn't bring ice axe and crampons). Glad there was another party on the mountain that knew the way....
Climbed the normal route solo, together with Montcalm and Pic Verdaguer.
Slept at the Vallferrera refugio and took the normal route to the summit. There was a lot of snow this season, so there was snow from Port de Sottlo almost to the summit. Crampons and ice-axe not needed through, since the snow was soft. Went to Montcalm before going to the summit of Estats. Back at the car park after 7.5 hours.
Ruta pels estanys de Sotllo i el port de Sotllo
Impresive veiews of the Pyrenees. You can sleep in the Vall Ferrera hut or if you have a van, you can sleep in the car parking area. Next morning you can reach the top and come back to your van in the same day.
Arrived at the bottom of the valley for the ascent to the Vallferrera refuge. Was on motorbike so parked and hiked up, meeting a smashing couple on the way. Slept dreadfully in the refuge (no fault of the accomodation, was just very restless), set off before sunrise. Made the peak. View was incredible. Descent was long and hard, but made it back to my bike some sixteen hours later. Stayed at Llavorsi and really enjoyed a few cold beers.
french approach to Ariege and Catalogne highest top (+ visit to Montcalm, last 3000m on the east of Pyrenees
Our planned day had to be postponed because of bad weather but the following day we managed Montcalm, Verdaguer and Estats. My first tresmiles, with Alf.
A long day. Met very few folk. Remember the long, windy, path through trees and the flat plain above before the terrain started to get more rocky.
Have just found an foto of me on a summit. Thanks to this site, I can now identify it as the summit cross of Estats.
I may have forgotten some detail, but my overall memory of the day is a day that was unforgetable!
From several ascents of these mountains, the last one was one of the nicest, with my son Thomas (11), 2 days ago. We started in the clouds from Pinet hut and after some time, we were above a superb seas of clouds (see photos from 2010 and also from a winter ascent in february 1985).
Sabrina and I climbed from refuge du Pinet this day :
Sottlo, Verdaguer, pica d'Estats, Rodo de Canalbona, punta Gabarro and Montcalm.
Very nice from the crowd to loneliness...
I returned to Pica d'estats in a marvellous day to climb all the three-thousands in the same day!!!. We camp the previous day in estany de Sotllo (2h from refuge Vallferrera) and we climbed the next day across the spectacular ridge S.E. passing Rodó de Canalbona (3.005m), Punta Gabarró (3.114m), Pica d'Estats (3.144m), Verdaguer (3.133m), Montcalm (3.077m) and Sotllo (3.073m). We walked more than 11 hours returning to car very tired after a very nice day.
A day scramble to tackle both the Montcalm and the Pica d'Estats from the trailhead at L'Artigue (French side). Stopped at the L'Etang du Pinet refuge for lunch on the way down.
Decided to tackle Pica d'Estats from the north in one long day rather than two short days, wanting to pack as much into my trip as possible. So, left L'Artigue car park at 07:15 expecting the return trip to take around 11 hours. A cloudless day saw me on the summit by 12:30, enjoying breathtaking views in all directions. In all, the round trip took just 8.5h and was a fantastic finale to my 2008 trip to the Pyrenees.
.. but beautiful area and valley with important mountains. I climbed Verdaguer (3131m), Pica d'Estats (3143m) and Montcalm (3077m) in 6h across Puerto de Sotllo. After the last summit it fell a lot of rain while all the descent to valley of Vallferrera and I leaved the peak Sotllo for another day.
Hadn't slept too well, forgot half the food in the car... Not my day - but nevertheless I managed to reach the Estany d'Estats from the Vallferrera Hut