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Via ferrata dels Racons, Canillo

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The via ferrata dels Racons has been laid out on the western flank of the Roc del Quer, a large pyramid-shaped rock face overlooking the village of Canillo. A neighbor of the Directissima, which climbs straight up the center of the pyramid to the mirador at the summit of the Roc del Quer, this route offers almost the same panoramic view over the valley towards Andorrre-la-Vieille. Although relatively short, the route is difficult, a solid K4, with a very vertical upper section, several slightly overhanging passages to negotiate and minimal equipment in places: distant rungs and use of the rock obligatory to progress, but and feet. The Canal del Grau via ferrata, which is even shorter and slightly less complicated, is an ideal follow-on to extend the climbing pleasure, and possibly finish by walking to the summit of Roc del Quer.

Dans la paroi finale

Technical summary

■ S tarting point: Canillo, Andorra
Type of route: via ferrata
■ Direction: south-west
Length equipped: m
Vertical rise: +300 m
Estimated total time: 1h30 to 2h
■ Min and max altitude: 220 m / 300 m
Equipment in place: rungs, chains
Equipment required: standard equipment

Difficulties: D+ or K4+, remote equipment, use of rock to progress

Access to the place

Drive to the village of Canillo, a few kilometers before Encamp and Andorra la Vella from France. Park in the village, rather close to its southern exit. You'll have to pay to park, but it's not that expensive. Avoid parking further down the road in front of the Cantina dels Racons restaurant, as apparently there have been problems, as the parking lot is reserved for the restaurant's customers.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

From Canillo, go down the road on the mountain side. After the last traffic circle, there's a staircase leading up towards the Canal del Grau and the access to the vias ferratas (signposted). It crosses under large steel nets that protect the road from falling rocks. At the end, turn around and this time pass over the nets (signposted to the start of the Racons ferrata). You're soon at the start of the route, with the first chains installed.

Course 45' à 1h

The ferrata is roughly divided into 2 sections: the first for traversing (K2/K3) and the second, which becomes increasingly vertical and ends up on a series of slight overhangs (K4/K4+). There are belay points in several places, where you can call back in the event of a problem.

1st part

This first part alternates upward and downward traverses with chain aids and some more vertical sections equipped with rungs. The traverses aren't too impressive, but there's nothing for the feet except for the grip or small supports on rulers. The more vertical passages are not too strenuous, with series of rungs sometimes quite far apart. A good warm-up for what's to come.
Part 2

The route returns slightly to the west and becomes more vertical. Chains again with rocky holds to progress plus a first very vertical passage to exit on a very aerial bulge. The route then becomes more vertical and increasingly aerial. Higher up are a few artificial climbing holds fixed to the wall. And above, probably the most physical section, with a slight overhang that puts a lot of strain on the arms. There's not much left to get out, just a final camber to negotiate next to an area protected by steel nets, and you end up on a flat area next to a pine forest. End of the Racons ferrata.


Take the Cami del Grau path down to the left, marked with yellow dots. Further down, after crossing a rocky slab, you come to the start of the Canal del Grau via ferrata. Either follow the second ferrata, which leads a little higher up, or continue downhill, and after 20' on a fairly steep path equipped with knotted ropes in places, you're back at road level below Canillo.

Map & topo

Access and via ferrata routes are indicative only.

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