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Pic de la Mine

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At the gateway to Andorra, from the Col de Puymorens, the ascent of Pic de la Mina is a very accessible route, ideal for a half-day outing. Although very busy and adjacent to the slopes of the resort of Porté-Puymorens, the gradual route offers beautiful high-mountain panoramas. From the summit, escaping via the South ridge, you're on your own for a while, accessing a pretty little downhill valley that's much less frequented, before inevitably returning to the resort's slopes.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Ski touring
Location ✦ Col de Puymorens
Region ✦ Cerdagne, Pyrénées-orientales
Country ✦ France
Direction ✦ East
Max. altitude ✦ 2683m
Length of ascent ✦ 5.5km
Vertical drop ✦ 720m
Difficulty ✦ R-2.3-E1
Max. gradient ✦ 30
Duration ✦ 3h to 4h
Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

On the N320 from Ax-les-Thermes, climb towards Andorra and turn left before the Pas de la Case to reach the Col de Puymorens, the natural gateway to the Cerdagne. Park at the pass, on the right-hand side if possible (west side).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2'

From the parking lot, join the track 50m up towards the top of the resort.

Course 2h30 à 3h30

The route is clear throughout. It's simply a matter of skirting the resort and then ascending a wide ridge that forms a ramp to the summit of Pic de la Mina, which overlooks the slopes.

The option of descending from the south ridge is not compulsory, and should be considered depending on snow conditions. Today, the lack of snow allowed us to take this route to avoid skiing the busy ascent.

Part 1: the ridge

Follow the almost flat, snow-covered track to the west. As it curves back towards the slopes, cut straight across. A little further up, you'll come to a track. Climb steeply to the right to cross another track above, then finally find yourself on the wide, rounded ridge leading up to Pic de la Mina.
Part 1: Pic de la Mina

The route along the ridge is obvious. It's hilly and climbs very gradually, ending at the height of the resort's highest chairlift, on a flat area. Continue towards the summit. The slope is a little steeper and ends in a narrower, even steeper section to reach a small shoulder just below the summit. Reach the Pic de la Mina either on foot or on skis over the last few steep metres.
Part 2: South ridge and ski descent

From the summit, descend to the boulders on the south side. Once on the tiny col below the summit, there's a very narrow couloir that can be skied on the east side. Alternatively, progress through the boulder chaos on the west face of the ridge, de-climbing a little before climbing up and walking on the ridge (III). You'll reach a small col and can then climb a little to the south to open up the slope.

From here, start out on the first section (25° max), then slide north-eastwards on a second, steeper section (perhaps 30°). Then cross under the rocky bars, aiming for the tracks and avoiding falling too far into the valley. You'll then find a few small slopes to ski.

Once you've found the pistes, cross the station diagonally to find the approach piste again without difficulty.


Glide along the snow-covered track to the start parking lot. We come across some splendid sled dogs who give us a curious but shy welcome.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran


Sortie sur 13 janvier 2021

Sortie du 23 février 2020


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