TOPO Canyoning

Canal de la Ballestera, Arnes, Els Ports

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Arnes, massif dels Ports. Discovering the riu del Valls area, in the western part. Threatening weather today. The Ballestera canal weaves its way between the Roca Grossa and Roca Dreta, both perfectly named, like gigantic Laurels and Hardys! Access to the start of the canal allows you to get a good view of another part of the Ports. The canal is impressive, a little lost and presents an aerial string of abseils, first steep and then open at the end, for almost 200m of vertical climbing. Well equipped, with no great difficulty apart from the omnipresent emptiness. A great way to discover the area and, weather permitting, cool off in the crystal-clear waters of the riu dels Valls.

Technical summary

Location ✦ Massif dels Ports
Region ✦ Catalunya
Country ✦ Spain
Type ✦ Dry canyon
Vertical rise ✦ 250m
Difficulty ✦ v4-a1-II
Duration ✦ 2h to 3h
Max abseiling ✦ 38m

Access to the place

From Arnes, take the narrow road out of the village (heading west) towards the Toll del Vidre. Follow the road across the fields to Coll de la Creu, then turn right downhill to Riu Algars (track and asphalted road). Just before crossing the riu dels Valls, park on the left, where the path starts.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 1h à 1h30

Follow the yellow path along the riu del Valls at the bottom of the hill. You pass under the rocas Grossa and Dreta - a must! You can now see the canal between the 2. Continue for a short distance and turn left onto the path leading to Pujador del Puntalet (yellow and orange). There are a few passages to climb in III to reach the ridge (20′), then climb back up to the left (south) and head towards the summit as it rises, passing a small wood. You can see the passage between Roca Grossa and Dreta, where you need to get in.

Course 1h30 à 2h

The canyon is dry and consists of a series of 7 vertical abseils. All belays are equipped.

Once you've entered the channel between the 2 rocas, follow the increasingly narrow channel. You then have to unclimb 2 jumps to find the equipment for the 1st abseil (14m).

R1 takes you to the edge of the Grossa and the vertiginous descent of the next 5 abseils: 30m, 38m, 30m, 38m, 30m. No difficulty other than the rather airy atmosphere, 2 belays on the side of the wall, and one or two very narrow passages. The last of the 5 abseils takes us out of the channel on a huge bulge and the last 20m on a spider's thread.

The final abseil, R7, can be avoided by skirting around to the left, or you can descend the ramp a little to find it and finish on a 40-metre incline to quickly rejoin the bed of the riu del Valls.

Back

Simply drive in the opposite direction to the parking lot.

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