Pollegó Bottom of Pedraforca by the Great Diagonal
Radically different route to visit the unknown part of Pedraforca: the Lower Pollegó. A completely different landscape and tranquility in front of the crowded Pollegó Superior.
Difficulty: difficult, basically because of the steep slope and a step of III degree in which there are people who remember for safety. Inadvisable in case of rain and not recommended in case of fog. Care must be taken in the steepest sections and it is advisable to wear a helmet for safety when climbing.
Elevation: 881 meters.
Time: about 3h - 3h 15 'of ascent (with 30' break for breakfast at the Balcony of the Joaquina)
Kilometers: 7 km.
Variants: you can start from other starting points. For example from the recreational area of the Sierra (2 km before the viewpoint of Gresolet) or you can make the route from the southern slope from a good beginning. In this way you climb directly to the Great Diagonal without going through the Balcony of Joaquina. With rope it is also quite common to make a rappel of descent from the Lower Pollegó to the neck with the Lower False and go down the pan.
We leave from the parking lot of the Mirador de Gresolet, towards the Lluís Estans Shelter. After about 10 minutes of having started the march and with little to get to the shelter, we will reach a hill where you have to take the most obvious path that goes to the left since with the path on the right we will deviate from the original route
After 15 minutes from the start of the hike, we arrive at Lluís Estaen refuge, a meeting point for many of the routes that climb to Pedraforca, especially towards the Upper Pollegó by the Coll de Verdet and the climbing walls of the north wall of Pedraforca. From the shelter, we take the path that leads to the Tartera del Pedraforca, to the left
After about 500 meters, we take the path on the right that goes up. We arrived at the Tartera del Pedraforca. We need to cross it diagonally and up. We have to go to the other side of the pan and soon we will see how a road climbs up the mountain, where we will have to leave the climb behind the pan.
From this point, we Engarrista towards the Balcony of the Joaquina, following green marks and goals. Obvious and marked but very steep road, in which care should be taken in case of rain. Upon arriving at the Balcony of the Joaquina, we can stop to see the fantastic views of the Saldes Valley and Pedraforca from a very different point of view.
We follow the crest thread and go down again following green marks and some milestone. At this point, we can choose: or climb the Great Diagonal or the back of the mountain. The usual thing is to go up the Great Diagonal and go down the spine. In this case, you will need to follow a path to the left that goes gently down to the feet of this iconic canal that is visible from the Saldes to Gósol road.
The Great Diagonal: it is a section in slope, good to climb but quite straight and that forms a "big diagonal" in the mountain just at the foot of the south wall of Pedraforca. The climb is intensified and in the final section there is a chain that will be very useful to overcome the last part of the Great Diagonal in which the stone is smoother.
After the Great Diagonal arrives at a pan that will be traced for a while until on the right hand side you will see a fairly evident channel. If we followed the tartera to the top we would carry on the neck between the Lower Pollegó and the False Lower Pollegó, so we must be careful when we see a channel on the right hand side.
The climb up the canal does not present great difficulties until the last spur: a step of III degree. There are people who remember, we go without, but you have to exercise caution. Once overcome, we will only have to trace the last blades to the top of the Lower Pollegó (2,445 m). With fog, as in our case, we must be careful not to deviate, since from the Great Diagonal on the top there are no marks and only some milestone. But if you are lucky enough to stumble on a clear day, the views from the top are spectacular and you can contemplate the magnitude of the Pedraforca with great loneliness, while on the other side of the entrance, dozens of people gather on the top of the Upper Pollegó.
From the top, we will go down the back without further complication. Soon, we will find a chain to go down a small slit. It does not present great difficulty. Finally, it will not be necessary for us to go through the balcony of the Joaquina and we can deviate to the way up before following green and at some point blue marks. Once in the pan, we undo the road to the shelter and in the car.
Authoring photographs and text: Sergi Boixader