Ascent of Pic d'Estats on 2013-07-30

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pic d'Estats
    Elevation:3144 m / 10315 ft

Ascent Trip Report

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
Pica d’Estats >

Extract of text from my blog:
he pista from Areu to the carpark and barrier at La Molinassa is quite rough. I am glad I did it the night before because it takes about an hour each way, driving. On the way back down I was stuck behind another car and we were overtaken by a jogger.
There was no advantage in staying at the Refugio de Valliferrara as it is very near the start and the path is actually better than the aforementioned pista. After the refugio the path deteriorates rapidly –...
For a long while, despite the occasional signposts I was doubting that I was going the right way as the path traverses around the Serrat d’Areste and into the Barranco de Sotllo.
Eventually the path reaches the first lake, Estany de Sotllo (2349m) N42.64879 E1.38258 and then there is the difficult task of crossing the river twice without the aid of the collapsed bridge at 2433m N42.65506 E1.38602.
The second lake, Estany d'Estats (2457m) N42.65624 E1.38822 is a good place to camp and gives a good view of the summit which looks tantalisingly near – however, there is still a long way to go using the voie normale.
The Coma d'Estats was snow filled and it was time to put on crampons. The snow slope is long and gets quite steep at times.
Port de Sotllo
The snow runs out before the Port de Sotllo which is a collado and where you step into France (2853m) N42.66888 E1.39788.
The map shows a path that goes along the ridge over Pic Verdaguer to the summit – I didn't like the look of it. So, I followed the usual route which goes round the back into France and involves some decent and re-ascent and crossing a lot more snow. I tried to reduce the number of crampons on and off by crossing one patch without them – and regretted it halfway across when the drop looked steep, long and the footprints I was stood in were still icy out of the sun.
The path rises to Coll de Riufred (2967m) N42.67083 E1.40224. Crampons off and it is an easy ridge walk with the occasional bit of scrambling to the summit and with hardly a cloud in the sky tremendous views of the Pyrenees east and west.
My descent route was very much the same as the ascent – I even found myself taking pictures of the same things because the lighting was so different between the morning and afternoon.
23.34km, 2483m total ascent
Summary Total Data

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