In the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees, beneath the Serra del Cadi, the Roques d'Empalomar route has been mapped out on a long rocky ridge that emerges from fir-covered valleys. At the top of the village of Vallcebre, the ferrata has two sections: the first vertical (K4) up the east face of the cliffs to the summit, and the second on the west side, more traversing to reach the Cami de l'Aeri ridge (K3). Maintained by a local group, access costs €5 a day, including the other, more difficult Cal Curt ferrata (K5), which can be combined because it's in the same place. A nice spot, 2 steps from the Pedraforca hike and not far from the fabulous Sierra de Cadi.
■ S tarting point: above the village of Vallcebre, Catalunya, Spain
■ Type of route: via ferrata ■ Direction: east (part 1) then west (part 2)
■ Equipped length: 300m
■ Positive vertical drop: +130 m
■Estimated total time: 2h to 3h ■ Min and max altitude: 1350 m / 1482 m
■ Equipment in place: excellent: rungs, chains, wooden platforms and suspension bridges
■ Equipment required: standard equipment
Difficulty: K4 or D, several slightly overhanging passages to negotiate in the first part (K4), easier second part (K3).
On the C16 between Barcelona and Puigcerda, at Guardiola de Bergueda, take the B400 towards Saldes, then turn left to reach the village of Vallcebre. Cross the village and climb above it towards Coll de Pradell. Park in the reserved parking area, where you'll find an information board on the via ferrata in the area.
To pay, go to the Espai Actiu page of the town hall to register and pay online.
Follow the signs from the parking lot. The path climbs up to reach the rocky ridge and cross to the opposite side. It finally descends to find the start of the ferrata. The approach route is marked in green and white.
Course 1h30 à 2h
Part 1 (K4)
This involves a series of fairly vertical sections with large flights of rungs and traverses, in places slightly overhanging. There are 1 or 2 more physical steps along the way. At the top, a small wooden bridge gives access to the final wall leading to the summit.
2nd part (K3)
Walk on the summit to de-escalate on the opposite side, then cross over the forest. No particular difficulty. The route joins a suspended sign bridge to pass from the wall to a rocky tooth on which we climb. The route then descends to finish on the ridge. End of the route.
Descend from the summit to find the approach path a little further down, which you can take in the opposite direction back to the parking lot.
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