Saturday, 10 August 2013

Carlit up

Stone Roses just wanna be adored

Not only Scots want independence
Puig Carlit/Pic Carlitte N42.56988 E1.93212 is a French Major – although some Catalans wish otherwise. It is 2921m high and a P1001 making it a JMH Iberian prominence number 31. The key to its ascent is from the resort of Porte Puymorens there is a road into the ... which ends at a carpark (1738m) N42.55194 E.88038 for Font Vivat. You can park earlier and gain less steep access to the Tour du Carlit (TDC) path – or you can do what I did and go up a steep path through trees and then a meadow to meet the TDC path (2025) at N42.56027 E1.88038 (note I ended up due north as that is exactly the same longitude as the start).

La Lanoux
The TDC is very well engineered and obviously well used. It rises very gently as it traverses the side of the Serra de Font Viva until it approaches a bridge near the barrage of Estany de Lanos (2150m) N42.57531 E1.89473. The path continues to a junction (2222m) at N42.57808 E1.90279.

Most people carry straight on here, I decided to turn left and then head for a col between Puig Castell Isard and the summit peak. And, ended up in a desolate area of piled rocks that would not look out of place near Blaenau Ffestiniog (2574m) N42.57553 E1.92980.
Blaenau Ffestiniog?

After some desperate scrabbling through the stones and scree there was a more pleasurable scramble on the ridge rocks before meeting the more usual path from the west side.The summit is marked by crosses festooned with flags, bits of cloth and padlocks and there is the base of a trigpoint. The view was extensive, despite the fact that, by sod's law, it got cloudy for the time I was on the summit.

Estany dels Forats - note, the clouds now gone
For the descent, I used the scree path, more commonly used, which comes up from Estany dels Forats (2552m) N42.57177 E1.92523. The path back to the junction mentioned earlier is fairly well cairned.

From the bridge near the barrage, I decided to use an alternative and slightly longer path that goes past the Maison des Ingenieurs and through Coma Joan. As I had been a bit late setting off I ended up walking in the dark in the forest, however, most of the time the path was obvious enough to not need to ruin my night vision by switching on my headtorch. The advantage of coming back this way – I didn’t fancy the steep final path down in the dark.

22.42km, 1903m total ascent

Overnight at Font Vivat carpark (1738m)

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