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Campamento Virgen Blanca - Puerto de la Pez - Campamento Virgen Blanca

Campamento Virgen Blanca - Puerto de la Pez - Campamento Virgen Blanca

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How to get there: Drive on the A-2609 that runs between Salinas de Sin and Gistaín 1.8 km from San Juan de Plan towards Gistaín until you see a sign for "Parque Natural" on the right hand side of the road. Turn on this sand road. After 5.4 km the road forks. Go left following the signs for "Camping Forcallo" and "Campamento Virgen Blanca". You come to the campsite of Virgen Blanca after 2.9 km. Opposite the buildings, just before a bridge, you see signpost on your left. The route begins here. (Roadmap)

Distance: 5h50min/17km

Follow the signs for "Puerto de la Madera" and "Puerto de la Pez" (1560 m) uphill. The route is well marked with white-yellow waymarks. After crossing the grassy slope you emerge in a pine forest. Cinqueta de La Pez flows on your right. Later you see the mountain of Baliner in front of you. The path comes to a track (14min) (1660 m). Turn left.

Before crossing a bridge over a rapidly flowing torrent fork off left following the signs for "Puerto de la Madera" and "Puerto de la Pez" (23min) (1705 m). The path follows the torrent and crosses a brook later on (29min) (1725 m). When it forks (41min) (1790 m), the sign for "Puerto de la Pez" guides you to the right. Keep right also at the next fork met almost immediately.

You cross a bridge (45min) (1765 m) and come to a fork (1h) (1790 m), where you keep right. The path runs through the plain of "Vado de Bachimala". At the next fork (1h04min) (1795 m), follow the sign for "Puerto de la Pez" to the right. After crossing two wooden bridges close to each other (1h08min) (1795 m), begins a steep climb to the Paso del Gato. The torrent flows now on your left below. During the ascent you cross a couple of brooks. From the top of the crest (1h28min) (1935 m) you descend gently to the plain of Culfreda, and start walking close to the water. Once you have passed a stone cottage (1h38min) (1930 m), gorgeous waterfalls start to mark the landscape both in front and on both sides of the route.

Walking across the plain you see beautiful boulders by the water. After crossing a brook that descends from you right and originates from a great waterfall (1h52min) (1960 m) the path gets steeper. Climbing up the wet slope the waymarks guide you over a torrent  (2h09min) (2050 m) before you reach the Circo de La Pez (2h20min) (2120 m), a semicircular clearing surrounded by mountains. This is the springhead of the river Cinqueta de la Pez.

You cross the clearing and start a steep climb (2h32min) (2165 m) towards the Puerto de La Pez. Follow the waymarks and piles of stones. If a mist rising from the French side covers the crest, do not try to tackle the summit. The narrow path crosses a couple of boulder fields. In some places it is so steep that you have to scramble. The Puerto de la Pez (3h20min) (2460 m) is a very narrow crest with superb views to the French side of the border. On the Spanish side you see the rugged peaks of Balineri.

Walking back the same way you can admire the mountains in front of you - Macizo de Posets, Picos de Bagüeñola and Las Rechanzás - before you reach the campsite (5h50min).


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