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Tossa del Braibal, Escaldes-Engordany

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The route from Escaldes takes in the Vall de Madriu and returns via the ridges through Estany Blau and Tossa del Braibal. The Vall de Madriu section offers a bucolic landscape in stark contrast to the asphalt and concrete of Andorra la Vella. The blue pond and ridge take on the colors of the high mountains, giving you a commanding view of Andorran territory before plunging back down to the town at the bottom of the valley. To avoid a transfer on the return journey, you can either return to Escaldes via Ramio from Col Jovell, or start and finish at Engolaster.

Sommet de la Tossa del Braibal

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking
Location ✦ Escaldes-Engordany
Country ✦ Andorra
Max altitude ✦ 2657m
Distance ✦ 15km
Vertical drop ✦ 1450m
Difficulty ✦ E4 / T3 / R2
Duration ✦ 6h to 7h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

Depending on your planned departure, either go to Escaldes-Engordany or Engolasters. For a departure from Escaldes, find a place to park close to the start on the CS-101 or climb up from the town (see approach). Alternatively, park a little above Engolasters, in the Font de la Closa parking lot.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2h15 à 2h30

From Escaldes, take the cami de la Canaleta, which starts at Avenida Carlemany. Above, cross the main road and climb the cami de la Muntanya to reach the CS-101. From here, take the main GR-7 path towards Ramio. Follow the Madriu torrent, passing Entremesaigües and Ramio, where it opens up a little. Continue along the right bank of the Madriu until you reach a large clearing and the Fontverd refuge. Keep going for a while and you'll come to a fork in the road on the left towards Estany Blau.

From Font de la Closa, climb to Col Jovell, then descend on the opposite side to reach Ramios. From here, follow to the left fork to Estany Blau (option not tested).

Course 2h45 à 3h15

The route follows marked trails the whole way: GR-7, then yellow dots from the junction to the return to Engolasters. No technical difficulty except on the ridge variant, where you can stay on the edge of the ridge instead of following the yellow trail that dodges to the south (a few exposed III+ steps). On the other hand, the distance and altitude difference are quite considerable, making this loop quite difficult.

Part 1: l'Estany Blau (1h15 to 1h30)

Set off along the narrow path marked with yellow dots. The path soon climbs steeply through the forest, eventually emerging at the foot of a large scree slope. As you leave the forest, the terrain becomes more mineral and open. Pass a first wide basin and climb (1 chain at one point) over sections of rocky slab to reach a second basin. You can still make out the pond above, which you discover at the last moment, in the hollow of a sort of crater at 2480m.
Part 2: Tossa del Braibal (1h30 to 1h45)

Descend to the shores of the pond, skirting it to the right and then crossing over to the small pass on the west side. The views from the pond to the south are superb! At the small pass, there's actually one more section to cross to reach the higher pass at the foot of the start of the ridge at around 2600m.

Follow the yellow dots directly onto the ridge. It's uphill but soon you're on top of the broad ridge. The terrain is undulating, and you descend a little to climb back up a little further. You then come to a section where you have the choice of following the yellow trail, which dodges around the lower south side, or taking a "sportier" variant and continuing on the narrower, more aerial ridge, with climbing steps and a few exposed passages (III+).

The yellow path then returns to the ridge, this time heading north, before climbing up to the summit of the Tossa del Braibal at 2657m. There's a little post in ciemnt with a sort of rusty metal weathervane.


From the summit of Tossa del Braibal, start descending gently over the open ridges. The ridge then bends slightly to the left to find magnificent fir trees below. The path then alternates with scree traverses. The descent is long and steep, ending almost 900m below at Col Jovell (1780m). From here, either head back towards Ramio to return to Escaldes. In the evening, return to the Font de la Closa parking lot, depending on your starting point.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran



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