Round trip in Pedraforca
The Pedraforca has many points of view. The most common is to walk to the top and contemplate the panorama from the heights. But another easy and affordable option is to go around your feet, to have a perspective of all the angles of the mountain and to be able to say that you have completed a return to the most emblematic massif of Catalonia.
Difficulty: easy No notable difficulty
Elevation: 780 m of cumulative ascent
Time: between 3h45h and 4h45h, depending on stops. Partial: 1h10 'from Gósol to Collell, 55' to the Estans shelter, 55 'to the Coll de Jou, 1h 05' to Gósol again.
Kilometers: 16.6 km
Variants: The Pedraforca has many itineraries through the peaks and halfway up. A possible 360º turn could be raised at a higher height, through the septfonds area and the Coll de Verdet on the north slope, but it would be necessary to see if on the southern slope it can be crossed by Prat de Reu and the Roc Roig. Likewise, there are sections that coincide with other itineraries such as the Camino de los Catharos or the Cavalls del Vent.
We start from the Plaza Mayor, the nerve center of Gósol. From there, we pass Picasso Street (eastbound) and, in the Plaza de Agustín Pedro Pons, turn left to take Cerdanya Street, northbound. When leaving the town, we take a path following the GR and PR marks. This is the Road of the Cathars (GR-107), which in this section coincides with the GR-150 (the Vuelta al Cadí) and the PR-C-127 (the Vuelta al Pedraforca), as well as the Camino de Cerdanya or on the way to the Gosolans Pass, which formerly used harvesters to cross towards Bellver de Cerdanya. As you can see, a whole knot of roads and that also shows in the brands.
We begin to climb a path very well arranged among pine forests that, early in the day, still enjoy the shade and the cool morning. After about 20 minutes, we found a detour to the right of a path that would return us to Gósol through the Coll de la Guardia. Shortly after, we arrive at the recreational area of Fuente Terreros (1625 m), from where you can also reach by car and from where the Herrerillo Small route starts, ideal for children.
We cross the hill of Fuente Terreros, we see the fountain on the left, and we continue along the path that goes into the forest before us. In 5 minutes we found a turn-off to the right that would take us back through the Coma de Caners towards septfonds and the Coll de Verdet, which would serve to climb the Upper Pollegó. We are still there and now we face the strongest stretch of the route. We avoid a left turn (well signposted) during the climb.
The forest opens and the views towards the valley of Josa and the Cadí begin to expand. The road turns in a Northeast direction after crossing a small hill the Serrat de la Portella. Now we walk in the direction of the Collell, visible at the end of the valley. We pass by the side of the Rock Fountain, which, as the name implies, is an upwelling that sprouts in the middle of the rock. We continue through this area of meadows with some pines until we reach Collell, the border between the tributary waters of Llobregat (to the east) and those of Segre (to the west), and we also change the province although we do not change the region (Gósol forms part of the province of Lleida).
Now we leave the marks of gr.-107 and 150 and we face the gentle descent down the track to the Lluís Estans shelter. This section coincides with the route of the Cavalls del Vent. For about an hour, we are planning the gentle descent by track. Perhaps this section is more monotonous to be all track. But we can get distracted by the exceptional surroundings that surround us: on the one hand, the southern slope of the Cadí and the spectacular cliffs of the Gresolet Valley. On the other, the abundant mountain, one of the best preserved of the Berguedà, with impressive pines, firs, beech and other species such as hazelnuts. And finally, for the view towards the north face of Pedraforca, always imposing.
In half an hour from the Collell, we will arrive at the Coll de Pi Ajagut. In this section, we go past several channels that descend from Pedraforca: the Raspberry Channel, the Coll de Verdet or the Riambau, which only carry water after a period of rain. In his case when he goes, after a strong storm is when they look authentic waterfalls. Nothing to envy to other places in the calcareous Pyrenees such as Ordesa or Pineta.
15 minutes later, we will arrive at the diversion to the Lluís Estans shelter. We must be attentive to the red marks that go to the right, up a path up. But, later, we will see some parked cars and another way up to the Lluís Estans Shelter. We arrived in 5 minutes.
For many times it has been, the picture of the refuge with the north face of Pedraforca is splendid and well worth a stop to contemplate this idyllic corner of Berguedà.
Now continue in the direction of the road that comes from the Tartera del Pedraforca, heading south. After 200 meters we see the deviation to the right of the road that goes to the Saldes tartera, but we follow the indications of PR-C 127, towards Gósol, on the left path.
For about 15 minutes we continue planning on the east side of Pedraforca until we find another signpost. We follow the direction of Gósol and the PR brands again and begin a stretch of steep descent. We lose 100 meters high in a short time. The transition of the forests of the north slope, more humid, with those of the south slope, more solanas is evident from this area. Here the forest is red pine and the ground is no longer so wet. The road opens up and becomes a clue, and then we reach an extensive meadow.
We are actually in the old open pit mines of Saldes. The subsequent restoration that was made of this space still shows signs of a land removed by man, with trees smaller than those of the surrounding forest and large areas of meadows.
All this section of the old mines we crossed by track planning until Coll de Jou. The views from here allow us to glimpse the vertical wall of the Lower Pollegó, but also the Ensija and Verde mountain ranges on the other side.
From Coll de Jou, we leave the track and take a path to the right that goes down to near a raft originated with the mines. The road enters the forest again and we begin the return to Gósol. The road loses a little height until it reaches Can Bardines. At this point, we should look at the marks of the PR that go down to the road, because otherwise we will deviate along a track and we would do a little back. This stretch of descent to the road is not very beaten.
We cross the B-400 and continue on the side of the road for about 200 meters, on the left side. Then the path goes down a bit and we continue parallel to the road but a little more apart. In this section until the Coll del Cap de la Creu (10 min) we cross up to 4 times several fences of grass spinning.
We reach the neck and, next to it, we see the viewpoint of Cap de la Creu, from where you can see the entire valley of Gósol and Sorribes. From here, we only need 1 kilometer to get to Gósol following the track that runs parallel to the road. When we have reached the town of Gósol, we will have completed a great circular 360-degree lap at Pedraforca.
Image and text authoring: Sergi Boixader