The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- monday 8 september 2014 -
A shortcut to Certascan

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Summary: part of a 2-weeks trip along the entire Pyrenees, focussing on high altitude reconnaissance of parts of my GRPdesBF-trail.

Today: 2 trips:

1. survey if a shortcut from Port de Tavascan to the lake of Estany de Flamisella is possible. Answer: yes

2. A short trip from Saneja towards bm461-462 to check if a public path exists towards the bridge over the Riu Aravů. Answer: no

Weather: nice
Trip 1

(click to open this trip in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps; click right on this link to download gpx-version)

A survey if a shortcut from Port de Tavascan to Estany de Flamisella is possible. That would save a lot of time when compared to the route curving S via Noarre.

Answer: yes and it's quite easy & quite short

For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds: see the cartography-page

Start: 9h, finish: 11.45, net walking time: 2.45h

 Gps-tripteller: no stats because of partial gps-failure

According to visugpx

- distance : 6,3 km
- cum. elevation gain : 478m
- cum. elevation loss : 478m
- total elevation: 956m

- altitude maxi : 2262m
- altitude mini : 1817m
- altitude average : 2024m

From the camping Bordes de Graus, I drive to the hamlet of Quanca and then take the bumpy dirtroad which climbs to to a parking.

It's a hard job for my ordinary  Suzuki Alto. Maybe I should upgrade to an 4x4 car.

This picture: from the parking it's a short climb to the lake of Estany Xic.

In between I learn that an alternative shortcut probably won't work. That is to say: no distinct trail apart from the beginning at this bend of the main trail.

Let's show that alternative shortcut (red trail) on the map.

I have already discovered on the Spanish maps a trail from the S-side of the Estany Xic towards Lac de Flamisella. That is the blue trail.
I'm approaching Estany Xic, the cabin already visible.
It's a tiny and very basic cabin: no furniture, nothing.

The question now: is there really a trail from here towards Estany de Flamisella?

Well: it exists indeed, partly by a trail and/or cairns-waymarking and the rest is quite obvious as the pictures will show.
From the cabin, looking SE.

The 'passage' is a climb to a next level. That's my direction.

There are some cairns helping you to traverse the terrain but if you miss them, no problem.
Getting closer to the 'passage'.
I head straight for the steep 'passage' and climb it.

But when returning, I will discover that there's an easier access. That's the right one: waymarked with cairns and bringing you to the same spot.
At this next level, continuation SEE is easy to navigate, thanks to some cairns and traces of trails.
Now we are getting to a point where the right direction is not obvious.
But this is the direction to take.
The terrain then widens and
flattens and you will climb  gently E to this rim
and then descend until
you spot a lake which is Estany de Flamisella.

It's quite steep close to the lake but a descent is possible at its NW-side.

The rest – encircling the lake and then climbing over a small col - is easy.

From that col it's a short descent to a smaller lake. There - at its SE-side -you can join the waymarked trail to Col de Certascan.

And let's show that 'short descent' to that 'smaller lake' from the other side on a picture of my trip of 20130825.

We are looking W. Note how the  shortcut descends from the small col, passes this smaller lake and joins the trail.

I'm content and return to Estany Xic.

This picture: I discover the easier alternative 'passage'
which you can see once again on this picture (the right trail)
I return to my car.

Then driving in 3h to the village of Saneja near Puigcerda.
Trip 2

(click to open this trip in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps; click right on this link to download gpx-version)

A short trip from Saneja towards bm461-462 to check if a public path exists towards the farm and bridge over the Riu Aravů.

The main route of my GRPdesBF uses such a route but I doubt if it's open to the public.
Answer: no

According to visugpx

- distance : 3.1 km
- altitude average : 1247m

Note: on this map you can see a trail which lead from bm461 to the farm and bridge.

We did a survey from the bridge and farm on 20140529
My starting point: the church of Saneja.
I follow the road/dirtroad NNW to the border.

Just before the borderline, I enter a field (which is fenced) and 'do' bm461.
I continue to bm462.
The fields here are all fenced off. I see no trails. Thats's discouraging.

This picture: looking towards the farm where you can cross the river on a bridge.


I return to the dirtroad
Back at the dirtroad and a bit further on it (just beyond the borderline), I see this passage through the fence. That's an easy access to bm461.

But there's no indication whatsoever that this is meant for public access.

Bm461, once again but now from the other side of the fence
I continue for a while on the dirtroad/trail but that leads only towards the village of Iravals.

Conclusion: I have to change my main route of the GRPdesBF.

I drive finally to Err to camping Las Closas.
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