ENCANTATS SKI TOUR
Frozen Lakes, Granite Peaks, Great Refuges
READY TO SKI ?
The Encantats Nature Reserve is a large protected area just over the Spanish border in the Catalan Pyrenees and is well known for its granite rock faces, twisting rivers and a myriad of frozen lakes. The terrain provides an ideal environment for a hut to hut ski tour and this week we will ski one or more 3000m peaks. The huts on this tour are all staffed for the holidays mid Feb-mid March, fully catered and very comfortable. So this is a great way to escape from the February ski crowds and is an excellent first-timers ski tour!
From Vielha, the capital of the Val d’Aran, we drive up to our departure point and head up to the Restanca, Ventosa, Amitges and the Colomers refuges in a six day circumnavigation of the area. We aim to ski to a summit each day and to ski on untracked snow. We will head for the Montardo (2900m), the Punta Alta (3015m), the Cirque des Colomers and the Ratera (2800m). There are many other peaks to choose from and each day you and your guide will decide which to go for. The best thing of all is that this tour is set among staggeringly beautiful terrain and yet you are not likely to come across more than one or two groups of skiers.
GRADE : D1 : A1 : F2
check our grade coding here
This price includes :
• 6 days guided ski touring with a qualified UIAGM high mountain guide
• Full board in refuge accommodation
• Collection Montrejeau train station and return at the end of the week.
• Equipment hire
• Snacks and drinks
Arrive in Toulouse or Lourdes. Depending when the different members of the group arrive in Toulouse we can collect you there or there are trains from Toulouse to Montrejeau, our main collection point. From here we drive up to Vielha and spend the evening checking equipment and picking up hire gear if necessary.
We drive up a series of tracks to the snowline and then set off on the first day of touring to the Restanca Refuge. After a lunch stop we leave unwanted gear and ski around the Lac de Mar. There will be plenty of time to acclimatise and practice with avalanche transceivers as well as ski.
We cross eastwards to the Refugio Ventosa, attempting an ascent of the Montardo and its summit at 2833m first. The summit is followed by a long descent to the hut. This is a good ‘peak bagging’ day and requires good weather and an early start. We spend two nights at the Ventosa refuge.
As we are spending two nights at Ventosa we can attempt the summit of the Punta Alta (3015m) carrying only light day packs. The north facing slopes for the return are great fun to ski. After the climb we ski back to Ventosa (this day is missed in the short week itinerary).
We ski over to the Refuge d’Amitges (bonus hot shower for 1€ so bring a small towel!) via a series of three climbs and descents. This is a long day out in magnificent scenery through the heart of the Colomers Cirque. The effort is worth it. This is one of the nicest huts anywhere in the Pyrenees so the long day is well rewarded! (this day is partly done on the short week itinerary, with a descent to Colomers)
We set off to climb to the Tuc de la Ratera before skiing down through the lakes of Saboredo (we can stop off at the tiny refuge of the same name) and then over the Sendrosa Pass to the Colomers refuge for the last night of the tour (this day is missed in the short week itinerary).
Colomers – Tuc de Salana – Pont de Ressec. From the Colomers refuge we have a short descent before a very pretty climb through the pine trees to the Tuc de Salana, giving us an excellent view over everything we have done in the week. The descent to the Pont de Ressec (where the van is waiting) is also lovely through the forest and pine trees. We spend the last night of the tour in Vielha.
Transfer to Montrejeau train station for your return transport home.