Tuesday 12th May 2015.
Today I went on an adventure that was not entirely planned. We drove up to Cuber Reservoir to park by the Font de Noguer. Paul, Greg and Neil set off to do a high level circuit of the Tossals group. The rest of us decided to climb Puig de Tossals Verds and we would meet up back at the cars.
We followed the path signposted ‘Font de Prat’ ‘Refuge de Tossals Verds’ and walked alongside the open concrete canal. This canal feeds Cuber with the overflow from Gorg Blau despite the fact that Gorge Blau is the lowest of the two reservoirs. Today the canal was completely dry.
Ahead of us were good views of Gorg Blau.
We crossed the canal at the 4th ramp and after passing through a gate we began our climb through the woods on an old donkey trail towards the Coll d’es Colloms. Ahead of us we could hear a grunting sound. We were surprised to see a herd of pigs, six of them enjoying themselves wallowing in a patch of mud. I managed to get a quick photo before they moved on but they were well camouflaged in the dappled sunlight.
We reached the junction where we should have turned right to begin the climb to Puig de Tossals Verds and had a change of plan. We had done this climb last year so we decided to continue the circuit to the Refuge at Tossals Verds. The refuge had been closed last year for refurbishment and we wanted to see what it was like. We began to descend through the woods and crossed a footbridge over the Torrent de Prat and later re-crossing it via ford/stepping stones. Swinging to our right we could look across the valley to the impressive arches of the Canaleta de Massanella which carries water from the Font de Prat down to Mancor del Valle.
We followed a cobbled track that contours round the southern slopes of the Tossals Verds massif. To our left we could look down on Mancor del Valle and Selva. The path zigzagged down to eventually reach the refuge. It was very hot and although I was carrying plenty of water it was now warm but at the refuge you could buy ice cold coke or a beer.
We now had to decide which route to take to get back to Cuber. Signposts indicated that it was slightly quicker to complete the circuit via the Pas Llis rather than return the way we had come although I had been very nervous the last time I had attempted it. At this point we were not aware that the other group were waiting for us at the bottom of the Puig de Tossals Verds.
Another option was to return via the Pou de Sa Coma and the ruins of Cases Velles. This would lead us back to our outward route. We set out on this route but found it to be overgrown with carritx grass. We were now committed to the Pas Llis route. We had some rough walking ahead of us over boulders and limestone that had been eroded into razor sharp edges. Best not to slip and sit on those!
Eventually we reached the top of the Pas Llis. Our group had become stretched out and I had to wait for them to catch up. Sitting gazing at the steel cable bolted to the rock was not doing my confidence any good. Having regrouped we set off with Krystl leading the way.
The pass is probably only a couple of hundred feet of descent but at an alarming angle. The cable starts off on the right hand side but then after a zigzag the angle increases. The cable also ends only to continue on the opposite wall. The gap between them is only a few feet but it held lots of terror for me. My knuckles were white as I gripped tightly onto the cable, scrabbling for a foothold and trying not to look down. You could not afford to let go.
Krystl talked me down although I remember swearing a lot to myself under my breath to psych myself up. Later Krystl said it was not so quiet, but it worked and I was soon down. The came the adrenaline rush. I was bouncing and soon had my camera out to take photos of Bill, Tony and Janice making their way down.
I think the problem I had, apart from slight vertigo was with my power/weight ratio. Weighing in a just short of 90kg my ratio is less than ideal, especially when hanging from a cable.
This is the 4th time I have done this route, twice in each direction. Going up is definitely easier than coming down but I don’t think I will do either again.
Across the valley and the Torrent d’Almedra we could hear voices and see walkers on another popular circuit of Tossals Verds utilising the five tunnels.
The difficult bits were now over but we still had a lot of hard work ahead of us. We had lost a lot of height and now had a long 500m climb up to the Como des Ases. We were in full sunlight crossing a boulder strewn scree slope. On the way we passed the wreckage of a light aircraft, now little more than a pile of rusting metal. It was hard going but our reward was the views. To the south we could see the twin sugar loaf mountains of Alcadena and Alaro. Once through the gap in the wall at the top we could look down on Gorg Blau and Cuber.
All that remained was the steep descent back to the cars.
Greg was waiting for us with a cold drink. He had refilled his water bottles from the Font de Noguer. It was ice cold. Never had water tasted so sweet.
We had been walking for just over seven hours and the other group had been waiting a long time for us to return.
Best to stick to our plan in future.
Back at the hotel it was time to rehydrate with a couple of beers.
Later, Jean and I dined at Ses Oliveres where Pepe the owner remembered us. A nice relaxing meal accompanied by a bottle of Rioja as we watched the sun disappear below the horizon.
It had been a memorable day.