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Pic Negre d’Envalira, Pas de la Casa

Ski Touring

andorra-eng

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The route up to Pic Negre d'Envalira, the border peak with Andorra, is superb despite the fact that you have to start from the Pas de la Case resort. We soon leave the environment of tracks and concrete to enter a narrow valley and access a small cirque hidden behind a large peak, the Pic de Les Valettes. A steep section up to Coll dels Isards reveals a completely different panorama to the south. The final stretch over the ridges to the summit is easy, with the impressive snow-capped Sierra de Cadi in the background. After Pic de la Mina and Pic dels Pedrons, here's a 3rd possible run from virtually the same starting point.

Derniers mètres avant le sommet

Technical summary

Type ✦ Ski touring
Location ✦ Pas de la Casa
Region ✦ Pyrénées-orientales
Country ✦ France / Andorra
Direction ✦ North/East
Max altitude ✦ 2829m
Ascent length ✦ 5.8km
Vertical drop ✦ 760m / 950m (variant)
Difficulty ✦ R-2.3-E1
Max. gradient ✦ 35°/40° below the pass
Duration ✦ 3h30 to 4h30
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From the Ax-les-Thermes valley, take the N22 towards Andorra. Pass the old border posts and park at the entrance to Pas de la Case. We're on the right-hand side of the resort and the slopes, with the Pedrons just above us on our left and the Pic de les Valettes in the background to the south, which we'll skirt to the east, and the ridges behind it leading to the slightly higher Pic Negre d'Envalira.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20' à 30'

Head due south and follow the tracks, staying on the left side (right bank) of the Ariège. After a few minutes on level ground, climb to the left to reach a rounded hill with a small house. You can see the corridor you'll need to climb to the east of the Pic de Les Vallettes.

Course 2h à 2h15

The route skirts the resort before turning east to Coll dels Isards. From here, we turn south and climb up a very wide ridge without difficulty. Only the last 100m of the ascent to Coll dels Isard is very steep (35°/40°) and may require crampons depending on conditions. On the way down, crampons can easily be added on the south side (almost 200m slope) before returning to the Col dels Isards. Here too, only the section below the pass can be tricky and exposed to ski, depending on snow conditions.

Part 1: Colls dels Isards (2600m, 1h30)

Continue towards the Pic de Les Valettes, crossing and then descending to reach the bottom of the couloir. Climb up in small laces to reach the top of a sort of bowl facing the cirque below the ridges.

Cross over to the Coll dels Isards, clearly visible from below. This is the steepest section, especially the final 100 m, at almost 40°. As this is a north-facing passage, you'll need knives or crampons, depending on snow conditions. We come out on a ridge, steep on the north side but gentle and gently sloping on the south side, with a new panorama opening up.

Part 2: Pic Negre d'Envalira (2819m, 45')

Climb back up to the ridge, this time heading west towards the Pic Negre d'Envalira, which is clearly visible. It climbs on a false flat to finish the last 50m steeper and reach the summit at over 2800m on a spectacular rocky head above the void.

Part 3: Pal de les Pasaderes and return via Coll dels Isards

Ski the southeast-facing slope back to Coll dels Isards. From here, as an option, continue down some fine slopes to reach the Pla de les Passaderes. From here, ascend directly to Coll dels Isards (175m D+).

From the pass, switch to the north side with the most exposed and difficult passage to ski (40° for the first few meters). Further down, cross over to a small col to the left of Pic de les Valettes. A second, slightly less steep combe leads to the resort's pistes. A few minutes remain to glide back to the parking lot, crossing the course of the Ariège before the bottom.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Photos

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