TOPO Via ferrata

Urquiza-Olmo, Montrebeï

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As you move deeper into the Pardina barranc, with the majestic Montrebeï congost as a backdrop, the route equipped with its latest new pitch is much more challenging than before! It's a seamless transition from TD to ED, with a very vertical finale to climb, a roof with a ladder suspended in the void to pass, and a very physical overhang before exiting onto the plateau. The gentle loop back to the congost is as magnificent as ever, rounding off a beautiful, long run of over 4 hours.

Technical summary

Location ✦ Corça, Ager
Region ✦ Montrebei, Catalunya
Country ✦ Spain
Type ✦ Via ferrata
Vertical rise ✦ 190m
Difficulty ✦ K5
Distance ✦ 250m
Duration ✦ 3h to 3h30

Access to the place

40km before Leida (coming from Barcelona on the A2), turn north to Balaguer and then Ager, on the edge of Catalonia. Drive to the village of Corça, 7 km from Ager. As you enter Corça, turn right onto the semi-bitumen track towards La Pertusa and its hermitage. After a few hairpin bends and a few minutes, you come to a cul de sac at the top of the Pertusa rock, just above the pantano de Canelles. Parking here is the starting point for the approach walk.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 30'

From the parking lot, follow the GR 1 north towards the congosto. After about 15′ of walking, there's a fork to the right in a left-hand bend (and before the path descends) towards the ferrata. There's a signpost and further on, red and white waypoints. The trail heads east along the mountainside, gradually descending into the Pardina barranc. On the left, on the other side, you can admire a large, multi-storey rock bar in yellow and grey, formed of wide vertical undulations. This is where the barrancos de la Sarah and de la Piula start, and you can follow them on your way back. The path finally joins the torrent bed, and we find a 1st chain that takes us to the foot of the ferrata start point: cascada Silvia.

Course 1h30 à 2h

The via ferrata, opened in 1997, faces south-east and has a vertical drop of 190m. The equipment, though old, is good and solid. The final section 4 is much more recent (2011), with generous equipment, and raises the level of the route significantly (TD).

Part 1: Cascada Silvia

This 1st pitch is fairly short, vertical and well equipped. We climb a little further to arrive under an orange cliff carved out to form a sort of open tunnel.
Section 2: la feixa del Ciclista

Follow the roped-off path dug flush with the cliff. The path goes further and further west. No difficulty. The path then descends into the torrent to reach a sort of closed, incised basin with a high, rocky waterfall polished by the waters.
Part 3: Cascada Federica

A wide, steep waterfall equipped with plastic rungs. A vertical start, followed by an easier traverse out to the top of the waterfall and across. The route veers slightly to the right to reach a sort of chimney. A few more rungs and the path returns to the stream bed a little higher up.
Part 4: heavy option

A slab start on a somewhat suspect rock (sounds hollow) equipped with chains where you have to climb with the rock, being careful what you pick up. Under the roof, cross to the left with the help of wide rungs before making the turn that leads higher up to the small roof to pass. Take 2 or 3 steps on suspended rungs to reach the ladder, which literally hangs in the air. Afterwards, a short, very aerial traverse, then a good step to reach a small shelf (piadas can). There's still one more exit to go, with a final, very athletic, overhanging step. Exit to the ridge.
Part 4: light option

Continue through a rocky chaos that you have to cross by going under it. Then follow the more or less signposted path, keeping to the left along the cliff. Climb upwards as best you can to find a wide track on the plateau, open to the Catalunya wall.

Back

Reach the top of the path (or follow it for the light option), which is perfectly marked with red and white dots and takes around 1 hour to reach the Mas Carlet refuge, passing beneath the ruins of the castle. From here, at the refuge, turn left onto the GR to return to the Pertusa parking lot in a further 1h. Other options are obviously more fun, but more challenging: descend the Pardina barranc, the Sara barranc or the Piula barranc.

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