La Gallina Pelada from Font Freda (Sierra de Ensija)
In the shadow of Pedraforca, the Sierra de Ensija offers us an exceptional hike through the heights of Bergueda between coniferous forests, very green alpine meadows and views at all four corners from the top of Gallina Pelada, the highlight of the excursion.
Difficulty: easy-medium. No technical difficulty, just steep uphill slope
Difference in altitude: 705 meters (rise)
Time: between 3h and 4h, at an agile pace of 2h
Kilometers: 7 km
Variants: The Gallina Pelada can also be done from the southern slope, leaving Peguera or from the neck of the Cruz de Fumanya, with the possibility of making a circular route. Likewise, on the north side you can also go up the Barranco de las Llobateres, with a more moderate slope than the stream of Font Freda, and complete the circular by going down Font Freda. If you want to make more peaks, a good option is to do the entire Ensija mountain range to the Cruz de Hierro and the Serrat Voltor, with excellent views to the east.
We leave from the small car park next to Font Freda. In winter, with snowshoes, you will most likely have to leave from the Palomera park and you will have to add another 20 minutes to the route.
Along the road, the stepped path leads to Font Freda. This is a good location, so you can stay there to eat on the way down. From the Source, we exit to the right following PR marks along a path that goes up through the middle of the forest.
After a few minutes, the source of the Ensija stream is obtained , a more stony area that we will continue to climb up along one side. The path skirts the rockiest area and goes up decisively. We gained enough unevenness in a short time, and we see to the right the small stream of the Ensija Fountain. The path in some points makes small loops to bridge the gap, although we can go where we are most, with caution as there is some stretch a bit worn. In winter, with snow, this whole section is usually quite icy.
We continue up, with some more rebellion (all indicated with traces of PR) and after a loop, the path turns to the left and we leave the torrent behind to start going up through an area where the forest begins to dawn and give way to alpine meadows. Before us, the panoramic view of Pedraforca is magnificent, with a view that we are not used to seeing. Looking down, we will see how we have gained unevenness in a short time.
After a couple of more loops, we come to a great uphill plan called "Las Planelles". From here we will have a good view of the road that we have to travel: on the right we will see the top of the Gallina Pelada and, before us, the slopes that remain until we reach the refuge.
We continue up the obvious path and go up a rocky hill on the right side. Afterwards, the path climbs further to the left to look for a small stream. Finally, we come to the Ensija plans, where there is an indicator sign. We continue south and the path turns west until we reach the Ensija refuge.
From there, the top is half an hour, at an agile pace of about 15 min. We just need to follow the path that comes out from behind the refuge, go up an area of trees to a small pass, and from there we have just reached the end of Gallina Pelada or towards Llitzet, the highest point of the Sierra de Ensija.
From the summit we will have a fantastic panoramic view of the whole of Berguedà and the Vall de Lord, with Pedraforca dominating the north slope and Montserrat overlooking the south. To return, we will undo the same path.
Image and text authoring: Sergi Boixader