Route Around Carlit Massif in the French Pyrenees
On Friday June 19, Laura and I took a direct train from Barcelona to the heart of the Pyrenees. We stopped at the small village of Envetig in the region of La Cerdanya, where, just after crossing the border between Spain and France, the impressive Carlit Massif grows in front of your eyes. Our idea was to complete a huge loop across the massif from Friday to Sunday, including on Saturday a climb to the Summit of Carlit, the highest peak in La Cerdanya, being 2.921m high.
So we started walking at 18h leaving the village and following a constant but easy uphill track along the Bena River, crossing beautiful forests and meadows. As we where gaining height, during all the way up we where able to enjoy magnificent views of all the valley of La Cerdanya. After a couple of hours and 7Km walking, we found a great grassy spot to spend our first night. We set up our Voyager 2 in a few minutes, we had dinner when it was already dark and we went rapidly to sleep, as the temperature started to drop very fast. It was a nice night, but more windy, humid and
cold than we expected.
On Saturday, we woke up with the first lights of the sun and the singing of the birds. We had a long way to cover, so we started walking quite soon. After some meters, we abandoned the Bena River and we took another track following the Salit River all the way up to a pass called Coll de l’Home Mort. From there, we kept going up until we finally reached the ridge of Serra de la Portella de Bac d’Ortella, the one that we had to follow to conquer the Carlit Summit. It is a very unique spot, where you can see four different valleys and hundreds of summits of the Spanish, French an Andorran
Pyrenees. But it is also a totally remote area, hard to cover and very technical. We hadn’t seen any single human being from Friday and it was the first time that we did that track, so the feeling of adventure and facing the unknown was absolute. Then, when we arrived at the summit of the Pic de les Toses (2.803m) we saw ourselves facing the most decisive moment of the weekend. We were just a few Km away from the Carlit Summit but, just in front of us, the ridge that since now had
been spectacular but easy turned into a very narrow, aerial and technical section. The next steps would make us use all our body and mind to avoid a possible fall that, if happened, would be for sure fatal. The main problem was that we didn’t know if after that point the next section would be easier or even more difficult and we didn’t want to see ourselves in a no turning back point carrying all the gear that we had in our backpacks.