TOPO Canyoning

Sarratanas, Sierra de Guara

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Located in the Somontano region, east of the rio Vero canyon, this barranco is a real beauty, especially the steep, steep and narrow final section, with its stunningly colorful chiaroscuro atmosphere. However, the descent is far from straightforward, with a number of tricky, exposed passages in opposition to each other in the first section and a pair of narrow, winding abseils in the second. Although the barranco is dry, the potholes tend to retain rainwater, and some are quite deep and almost unavoidable. As you climb back up the western slope towards Arcusa, a bend in the road gives you an ideal view from above of the route from the starting cirque to the exit under the bridge.

Technical summary

Location ✦ Colungo, Asque
Region ✦ Sierra de Guara, Aragon
Country ✦ Spain
Type ✦ Torrential township
Vertical rise ✦ 140m
Difficulty ✦ v3-a1-III
Max abseiling ✦ 15m
Duration ✦ 2h30 to 3h
Distance ✦ 800m

Ressources

Topo du Sarratanas on Descente Canyon

Access to the place

From Leida (A2) continue towards Huesca. Just before Huesca, turn right towards Abiego, then Bierge, and head for Colungo on the A-2205. Once through the village, continue north towards Arcusa. The road climbs and passes through a small hamlet (Asque). Continue on to find a bridge over the Fornacal at km 26 with a sign reading "Barranco las Gargantas". Park just ahead on the left.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 30'

Take the path just behind this sign, on the east side of the bridge. It climbs a little and then the path goes up to the head of the Sarratanas barranco, where you can see a large flattened cirque in the shape of a large basin: the impluvium, a large rainwater collector. No difficulty, but the path is vaguely marked and there are some exposed passages on the left. All in all, stay on the flank and level almost all the way to the top of the canyon.

Course 1h30 à 2h

The canyon was opened in 1990 and is part of the Fornacal basin.

Part 1: from the impluvium to the entrance to the oscuros

Open at first, with a little vegetation to cross, the barranco becomes a little narrower below. The first pools of stagnant water are easy to avoid, but less so thereafter. Once you've reached the estrechos area, you'll either have to cross in opposition (not easy) or get your T-shirt wet (in midsummer, it's possible). One of the trickiest passages is even equipped with a call-back system above the kettle. Then the gully opens up again a little and turns sharply to the left to reach a large area of chaos with a superb vault of red earth. Go inside and enter the oscuros...
Part 2: los oscuros

The most beautiful and interesting! It starts with a series of 4 and 5 m high overhangs to be de-escalated, ending up in very full potholes. As we weren't equipped with a wetsuit and the passage seemed a little tense, we went for a tree-mounted abseil to the right. This abseil, about 15m long, enables us to jump over the jumps and even link up with the next abseil (R6). Immediately afterwards, the abseil (R15) is very special. The start is very narrow and the route is very windy. The 1st pot is full, and you have to keep going left to finish further down, above another full pot. It's a tricky climb out to the small platform. Finally, a final abseil (R10) in a near-hole leads to the final exit and landing in the "cueva Aguilar", the end of the route.

Back

We pass through an area of chaos where we have to go over and under to finally emerge in the bed of the Fornacal at the level of the long bridge from which we started. Cross due south under the bridge and a little further on, on the right, in a less steep area, you'll find an improvised path leading up to the road, a little above the bridge.

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