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Juclar and Fontargente ponds from Vall d’Inclès

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From Vall d'Incles, the proposed itinerary joins the upper Aston valley on the Ariège side, at the foot of Pic du Rulhe, before returning to Andorra via the port of Incles. Numerous high altitude ponds on both sides of the border and a variation of Juclar & Joclar on the way: collada de Juclar, pic Negre de Juclar, pic de Juclar, pic negre de Joclar, étang premier de Juclar, étang de Joclar, refuge de Juclar. The day's rather exceptional conditions made the route quite physical, with heavy autumn snow making progress tricky in places. The scenery, especially the play of reflections on the silvery surface of the ponds, is magnificent.

Sur les rives enneigées de l’étang de Joclar

Technical summary

Type ✦ Snowshoe hiking
Location ✦ Vall d'Incles
Region ✦ Canillo
Country ✦ Andorra
Direction ✦ South/North
Max altitude ✦ 2450m
Distance ✦ 14.5km
Vertical drop ✦ 845m
Difficulty ✦ E4 / T3 / R2
Duration ✦ 6h to 6h30
Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

Coming down from Pas de la Casa, just after passing through Soldeu, turn right at a large bend towards Vall d'Incles. Follow the small road north-east along the log of the riu d'Incles to the end. Park in the large parking lot on the right after crossing the torrent.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

From the parking lot, take the main path heading due east. You'll soon find signs for the Juclar refuge and Pic Escobes on your left. A little further on, the path crosses the torrent on the Pont del Travenc, the start of the ascent to the refuge.

Course 5h30 à 6h

A loop with a reasonable altitude difference and no particular technical difficulties, but a considerable distance of almost 15 kms. Orientation is straightforward, as the trails used are marked in Andorra and France. Snow conditions must be taken into account for the times indicated for each section and for the total duration of the loop.

Part 1: Juclar refuge (2310m, 1h30)

Follow the well-marked path, marked with yellow dots, as it climbs steadily into the valley, staying close to the riu de Juclar which flows from the high altitude pond. After around 45', you reach a flat area at the Pleta del Juclar viewpoint. After about 20 minutes, you reach the south dam of the Juclar pond. From here, climb to the right to reach the Juclar refuge overlooking the lake, at 2310m.
Part 2: La collada de Juclar (2450m, 1h to 1h15)

Continue along the path, staying high above the main pond. After about 20', there's a small passage equipped with a rope to de-escalate a small rocky couloir. Then descend towards the median between the main pond and a second, smaller pond just behind it. Cross in the middle and climb up on the opposite side to reach the Collada de Juclar, the border with France. From here, we overlook the upper Aston valley, with the étang de Joclar under our feet, the Pic Negre de Joclar to our left and the Pic du Rulhe to our right.
Section 3: Etang de Joclar (2330m) and Estagnol (2120m, 1h30)

Descend following the GR to reach the eastern shores of the étang de Joclar, where the Pic Negre de Joclar is reflected. Skirt around the pond to the north, and follow the GR for the steep, winding descent to Etang de l'Estagnol. Follow the Estagnol to the west, continue along a mini-pond just below it to find the fork: on the right, the GR heads towards the Rulhe refuge, on the left, our path heads back west towards the Fontargente ponds.
Part 4: Fontargente lakes (2140m) and Port d'Incles (2262m, 1h30)

The path climbs a little and then crosses a large wall. At the end, you reach the bed of a small torrent coming from the Fontargente ponds. Climb a little further to reach the main Fontargente pond. To the south, you can already see the Port d'Incles on your way back. Go around the pond to the right (west) and on the other side, climb up in increments to reach the Port d'Incles fairly quickly at 2262m.

Back

From the Port d'Incles, we switch back to the Andorran side. The path winds gently down the combe, then follows the riu de Manegor and plunges a little steeper to the bottom of the Vall d'Incles and the starting parking lot.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Photos

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