Pic de Comapedrosa, a mere Minor with a P430 and consequently not in the JMH book. So, why bother with it when there are so many Majors around? Well, it is 2939m high, so not a tiddler. It does involve 15.6km of walking and 1565m total ascent on some rather rough ground and through snow – so it is not a walk in the park. However, the main reason I went for it is because Andorra is a separate country and hence provides a chance to add to my total of European country highest points.
Andorra is a pretty place, like the rest of the Pyrenees. However, the low VAT rates have encouraged a lot of retail development in the main valley and it is horrible to look at. Imagine, say, Glen Garry or Glen Affric filled with a continuous and ugly shopping mall for many kilometres.
Comapedrosa is, thankfully, away from the worst of this development – you can get to it from across the Spanish border. However, I chose to get there from the Andorran resort of Arinsal.
At the top of the town the road ends by going through two tunnels. The start point (1548m) at N42.57946 E1.47827 is between these two tunnels – turn right immediately after leaving the first tunnel and there is space at the end of the road for a dozen vehicles and quiet enough to sleep in a motorhome.
The trail is the GR11 and is, therefore, well marked and obvious. After a while of easy gentle walking there is a wood bridge and then a rope bridge (1777m) at N42.58316 E.1.46453 where the path becomes rougher and steeper through the trees. Unusually, the Refugi de Comapedrosa, is not on the trail – you have to leave it if you want to visit. Below the refugi there is a junction (2198m) N42.58007 E1.44859 – I have read several trip reports that indicate the authors have clearly missed this junction and carried straight on, instead of turning right and slightly down into the grassy cwm of Comapedrosa and joining a stream.
|The coma of Comapedrosa|
|Basses d’Estany Negre - that's the couple who slipped when they got to the steeper section|
I followed the GR11 for a bit further and then turned right to cross a difficult steep slope of boulders, stones and scree to the summit.
The summit is marked by a metal post and I had it to myself – with grand views all round.
|Shopping mall below|
Overnight at Arinsal (1548m)