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Stage 25: Refugi de Colomèrs - Refugi Ernest Mallafré


Distance/elevation: 12,5 kms / (+580m),(-830m)
Time: 4h45min (walking time without stops).
Difficulty: easy. The only obstacle could be the presence of snow in early summer on Port de Ratera (2,534m).
Water: throughout the stage you will find a number of streams and lakes.
Suggestions: make the stage longer by walking to Espot (2h15min). From Pòrt de Ratera (2,534m) you can climb the Tuc de Ràtera (2,861m) in 45mins.
Route/Itinerary:

(0h0min;0km) Refugi de Colomèrs (2.115m). Setting out from the new Colomers refuge, you walk past the old one and cross over the dam. Ignoring the path that descends on the left towards Salardú, you start the climb ahead of you (east), all the while along the same route as the Carros de Foc trail, towards the Long and Redon lakes. At the end of the climb, before reaching the first lake, the Carros de Foc trail peels off and forks left. You leave the lakes (Long and Redon) on your left and continue to climb up to Lac de Obago, a larger lake than the others. Before reaching the lake, on the left, you will see Obago cabin. Walk round the south side of the lake, almost to the end, paying no attention to other paths that climb to the south, up to the Circo de Colomers (a hugely popular route that visits Colomers cirque, dotted with up to 48 lakes). The path twists and turns across the valley en route to Port de Ratera. At the end of the climb, you reach a kind of plain where the GR211-4 and Carros de Foc trails converge on the left (a sign points to Refugi de Saboredo), which you cross (south-east) until you reach the...

(2h30min; 5.6kms) Pòrt de Ràtera (2.534m), hovering between Tuc de Ratera (2,861m) and the Serra de Saborèdo range. The long descent starts here. Right at the beginning you pass Estany del Port de Ratera on your right, followed by a crossing that, on the left, would lead to the Amitges shelter. The way is clearly marked and heads down the left side of the valley across bumpy terrain. Little by little pine trees start to become more prominent, and you soon reach Obagues de Ratera lake, which you pass on your right. You continue downhill, join a tack, then shortly afterwards reach...

(4h10min; 9.7kms) Estany de Ràtera (2.150m). This is a highly popular spot that can even be reached in a 4x4 taxi. Follow the track used by off-road vehicles until you reach...

(4h45min; 11.4kms) Estany de Sant Maurici (1.915m). At the foot of the rocky outcrop of Els Encantats, this is undoubtedly one of the outstanding places of beauty in all the Pyrenees. To get to the refuge, leave the main track and head down to another on that passes below the reservoir dam. Follow it for around 250m to a crossing on the right that points the way to the refuge.

(4h45min; 12.5kms) Refugio Ernest Mallafré (1.950m).

Where to sleep:

At the beginning of the stage, Refugi de Colomèrs (/). Given that the refuge is accessible from Arán valley (track, taxi service) added to the popularity of the area around the lakes (among the busiest routes in the Pyrenees), we recommend booking at least 1 month in advance during the months of July and August.

During the stage, one hour from Còlomers, lies Obago cabin (it is on 2 floors and although half of the roof is missing, the upper floor acts as a roof for the ground floor). Away from the route (1h from Pòrt de Ràtera) is the Refugi de Amitges (/).

At the end of the stage, Refugi Ernest Mallafrè (/).

For those who extend the stage to Espot (2h15min): Hostal Casa Palmira , Casa Peret de Peretó , Casa Rural Colom or Apartaments l'Arrel.

Maps:

- Alpina: Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Stany de Sant Maurici (Scale: 1/25.000).
- SUA edizioak: Aigüestortes i estany de Sant Maurici (Scale: 1/25.000).

Transport:

The quickest Access to the refugio de Colomers is from the track that comes from the north, from Salardú (open only to taxis in summer). There is a road to Estany de Sant Maurici coming from Espot, which is closed to traffic a few kilometres below, at the car park in Prat de Pierró. Taxis are allowed access. To get to Espot from Sort, take the Parque de Aigües Tortes bus (Alsa).

Activities in the area:

Around Colomers cirque there are a number of important peaks, such as Creu de Colomers (2,896m) or Gran Tuc de Colomers (2,933m). A very popular walk is the circular route around the Circo de Colomers (waymarked itinerary), and of course the Carros de Foc trail (5-7 days).


Perfil de la etapa

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Stages - GR11

- Prologue: Cabo Higuer - Hondarribia - Irun
- Stage 1: Cabo Higuer - Bera
- Stage 1v (GR 11.3): Cabo Higuer - Lesaka
- Stage 2: Bera - Elizondo
- Stage 2v (GR 11.3): Lesaka - Elizondo (Spanish)
- Stage 3: Elizondo - Pto de Urkiaga
- Stage 4: Puerto de Urkiaga - Burguete
- Stage 5: Burguete/Auritz - Villanueva de Aezcoa/Hiriberri (Spanish)
Stage 6: Villanueva de Aezcoa/Hiriberri - Ochagavia (Spanish)
Stage 7: Ochagavia - Isaba (Spanish)
Stage 8: Isaba - Zuriza (via Belabarce)
Stage 8v (GR 11.4): Isaba - Zuriza (via Ezkaurre)
Stage 9: Zuriza - Aguas Tuertas
Stage 10: Aguas Tuertas - Lizara
Stage 10 (discontinued): Aguas Tuertas - Candanchú
Stage 11: Lizara - Candanchú
Stage 12: Candanchú - Sallent de Gallego
Stage 9v (GR 11.1): Zuriza - Puente de Santa Ana
Stage 10v (GR 11.1): Puente de Santa Ana - Lizara
Stage 11v (GR 11.1): Lizara - Canfranc Estación
Stage 12v: Canfranc Estación - Sallent de Gallego (via C.Izas)
Stage 13: Sallent de Gallego - Refugio de Respomuso
Stage 14: Refugio de Respomuso - Balneario de Panticosa
Stage 15: Balneario de Panticosa - San Nicolas de Bujaruelo
Stage 16: San Nicolas de Bujaruelo - Refugio de Goriz
Stage 17: Refugio de Goriz - Circo de Pineta
Stage 18: Circo de Pineta - Parzán
Stage 19: Parzán - Biadós
Stage 20: Biadós - Puente de San Jaime (Spanish)
Stage 21: Puente de San Jaime - Refugio de Cap de Llauset (Spanish)
Stage 22: Ref. Cap de LLauset - Conangles
Stage 23: Conangles - La Restanca
Stage 24v (GR11.18): La Restanca - Colomers
Stage 25: Colomers - Ernest Mallafré
Stage 26: Ernest Mallafré - La Guingueta
Stage 27: La Guingueta - Estaón
Stage 28: Estaón - Tavascán
Stage 29: Tavascán - Areu
Stage 30: Areu - Baiau
Stage 31: Baiau - Arans
Stage 32: Arans - Encamp
Stage 33: Encamp - Ref. l'Illa
Stage 34: Ref. l'Illa - Malniu
Stage 35: Malniu - Puigcerdá
Stage 36: Puigcerdá - Planoles
Stage 37: Planoles - Santuario de Nuria
Stage 38: Santuario de Nuria - Refugio de Ulldeter
Stage 39: Refugio de Ulldeter - Molló
Stage 40: Molló - Talaixà
Stage 41: Talaixà - Albanyà
Stage 42: Albanyà - La Vajol
Stage 43: La Vajol - Requessens
Stage 44: Requessens - Vilamaniscle
Stage 45: Vilamaniscle - El Port de la Selva
Stage 46: El Port de la Selva - Cap de Creus




Map of the stage