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Pala d’Eixe, Aigüestortes

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Hard to find snow these days! Departing from the Espot resort, we climbed to the summit of Pala d'Eixe, overlooking the resort. It's a 1,150m ascent, but it offers a fine panoramic view of the Aigüestortes National Park and the Pyrénées Orientales. The snow was still there, in spring-like conditions above 2500m, before we headed down to the sunny Espot resort.

Pala d'Eixe

Technical summary

Type ✦ Ski touring

Location ✦ Espot ski resort

Region ✦ Aigüestortes National Park, Catalunya

Country ✦ Spain

Orientation ✦ Northeast / East

Max altitude ✦ 2657m

Length of ascent ✦ 5.3km

Vertical drop ✦ 1150m

Difficulty ✦ R-2.3-E1

Max. gradient ✦ 35

Duration ✦ 3h to 4h

Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

On the C13 between Vielha and Sort, in the Val d'Aneu, turn west up to the village of Espot at the panta de la Torrassa. From the village, climb up to the ski resort and park in the last parking lot, under the chairlift slope.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2'

Leave the parking lot at the top and join the track below the chairlift to begin the ascent.

Course 2h30 à 3h

Basically, the itinerary consists of a complete ascent of the Espot resort, using the less steep slopes to reach the top of the highest chairlift: the TC du Bosc. We find ourselves at 2500m, right under the ridge that leads to the summit of Pala d'Eixe.


It's not difficult, as you pass the successive landings on the edges of the groomed slopes. Allow around 1h30 for the ascent.


From the top of the chairlift, continue towards the ridge to pass above the installations. You reach a pass and can then attack the slope, staying on the ridge before heading further up to the right and beginning a long traverse of the wide combe de la Pala d'Eixe. Steep slope in the middle (35°?), knives to be considered if frozen. Today, the snow is still fairly soft and there's a good track to climb on.


At the end of the traverse, we're under the final valley with a series of concrete avalanche barriers. Zigzag through the middle to return to the south-facing ridge and finish at the summit of Pala d'Eixe, 2657m. View to the west over the Aigüestortes National Park, to the east over the Sierra de Cadi and Cerdagne in the distance.


Ski downhill

Only the descent of the upper combe is of interest, choosing the best exposure according to the day's snow. You can either stay in the combe all the way to the bottom, or switch to the side of the small lake and then ski the resort's slopes.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Photos

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