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Mascun Superior, Sierra de Guara

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This is one of the major canyons of the Sierra de Guara! Long and demanding, the descent starts high in the massif, after a long approach, for a first aerial and spectacular section: the Saltadero de las Lañas, a close succession of waterfalls and hanging basins of limpid green water. After an unobstructed water-walking transition, we enter the absolutely extraordinary "oscuros" section: small abseils, underground passages, astonishing geological formations in incredible colors. The return journey via the lower Mascun is less interesting, but still offers a pleasant atmosphere and a few more obstacles to negotiate. With Gorgas Negras, one of the most beautiful options in the Sierra de Guara if you're ready for a big day of 8 to 9 hours of effort.

Dans les oscuros du Mascun, festival de couleurs

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Rodellar, Sierra de Guara
Region ✦ Aragon
Country ✦ Spain
Length ✦ 4.8km
Difference in altitude ✦ 230m
Difficulty ✦ v3-a3-III
Rappel max ✦ 35m fractionnable
Duration ✦ 7h to 9h
Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

The canyon starts from the village of Rodellar. On the A2 between Lleida and Huesca, turn towards Abiego, Bierge and then Rodellar at the end of the road. Start from the village.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2h30 à 3h, 10kms, 440m de d+

From the village of Rodellar, follow the signs for "Surgencias del Mascun". The charge chemin passes high up and then descends over a series of ledges to reach the bed of the Mascun. Continue north and pass the other side of the Dauphin, where you'll find the Mascun resurgence, the start of the Espolon de la Virgen via ferrata and the fork to Gorgas Negras. Continue straight on towards Otin. You then leave the torrent bed to climb steeply up the eastern flank: 45′ of sustained effort to finish on the upper plateau. Go along the edge of the Mascun canyon (right) and, just before reaching the village of Otin, take the path that skirts it from below and to the right. Further on, leave the path that climbs up through the Fajas, pass a ruined village and continue on a wide, flat grassy track. Finally, after crossing the entrance to the Barranco Raisen and a rough passage through the forest, fork right towards the Saltadero (signposted). We descend over long slabs, then a forest crossing to fork right one last time on a small path that leads back south to the start of the canyon. Here, you'll easily find the equipment for the 1st abseil and a plunging view over the waterfalls and hanging basins of the 1st section.

Course 2h30 à 3h

The canyon can be divided into 3 parts: the entry cascades from the Saltadero As Lañas, the intermediate transition section with no obstacles and the oscuros. All the equipment is in excellent condition. There are 4 abseils in all, with the highest at 20m right at the start.

Section 1: Saltadero As Lañas

Aerial, a series of waterfalls leading down to suspended basins. First 8m abseil (or jump if you're brave enough to go along in the cold water from the start!) followed by a second 20m abseil to the right of the waterfall. We land on a large rocky platform with a pool of translucent blue water in the center. A bit of walking and a few mini-jumps before reaching the second aerial section with a 7m abseil, a small intermediate jump and a 12m abseil to finish this first section.
Part 2: transition

A long walk with no particular obstacles, following the meandering Mascun. There are a few steep sections, but overall it's more open, and there are a few pools to swim in, but above all you have to walk to the last pool before entering the oscuros.
Part 3: Oscuros

This is the most spectacular part. We enter an increasingly dark corridor to find the 1st 5m abseil. Swimming, we reach the next abseil (12m), which literally takes us under the rock as we thread our way through, ending up in a hidden pool into which we fall (Pozo Negro). The geological formations here are incredible. Swim through the gallery to a new series of short abseils that can be completed in 1 go (5m + 3m + 5m), with a sepctacularly coloured perspective (presentation photo). Finally, and just after swimming a dozen meters, the final abseil of 6m in an undulating corridor. Swim to get out and after a quarter of an hour, you're definitely out of the oscuros. End of the upper Mascun.

Back

Continue along the lower reaches of the Mascun. It's less steep and water is scarcer. On this long return hike, you'll still find a nice area of chaos to negotiate and 2 equipped ledges to call back to, avoiding tricky de-climbing. Finally, we come back to the intersection with the approach path and return to the village of Rodellar via the ledges above the climbing areas.

Map & topo

The routes of the Mascun Superior and Inferior itineraries are indicative.

Voir en plein écran

Photos

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