Pollegó Inferior del Pedraforca by the Great Diagonal
Radically different route to visit the unknown part of Pedraforca: Pollegó Inferior. A completely different landscape and tranquility compared to the crowded Pollegó Superior.
- Difficulty: difficult, basically due to the steep slope and a III degree pass in which there are people who are strung out for safety. Inadvisable in case of rain and not recommended in case of fog. You have to be careful on the steepest sections and it is advisable to wear a helmet for safety on the ascent.
- Elevation: 881 meters.
- Time: about 3h - 3h 15 'ascent (with a 30' break for breakfast on the Balcón de la Joaquina)
- Kilometers: 7 km.
Variants: you can start from other starting points. For example, from the recreational area of the Sierra (2 km before the Gresolet viewpoint) or you can do the route from the southern slope from the beginning. In this way, you go up directly to the Gran Diagonal without going through the Balcón de Joaquina. With a rope, it is also quite common to rappel down from Pollegó Inferior to the hill with Falso Inferior and go down the pan.
We leave from the parking lot of the Mirador de Gresolet, towards the Lluís Estaen Refuge. After about 10 minutes of starting the march and with little time to reach the refuge, we will arrive at a hill where we must take the most obvious path that goes to the left since with the path on the right we will deviate from the original path.
After 15 minutes from the beginning of the hike, we arrive at the Lluís Estaen refuge, a meeting point for many of the routes that go up to Pedraforca, especially towards Pollegó Superior through the Coll de Verdet and the climbing channels of the north wall. from Pedraforca. From the refuge, we take the path that leads to the Pedraforca tartera, to the left
After about 500 meters, we take the path on the right that goes up. We arrived at the Pedraforca lunch box. We need to cross it diagonally and up. We have to go to the other side of the pan and soon we will see how a path climbs up the mountain, where we will have to leave the climb up the pan behind.
From this point, we climb towards the Balcón de la Joaquina, following green markings and milestones. Obvious and marked but very steep path, in which care must be taken in case of rain. Upon reaching the Balcón de la Joaquina, we can stop to see the fantastic views of the Saldes Valley and Pedraforca from a very different point of view than usual.
We follow the ridge line and go down again following green markings and some milestones. At this point, we can choose: either to go up the Gran Diagonal or up the ridge of the mountain. The usual thing is to go up the Gran Diagonal and go down the spine. In this case, you will need to follow a path to the left that gently slopes down to the foot of this emblematic canal that is well visible from the Saldes to Gósol road.
The Great Diagonal: it is a sloping section, good for climbing but quite straight and that forms a "great diagonal" in the mountain just at the foot of the southern wall of Pedraforca. The climb is intensifying and in the final section there is a chain that will be very useful to overcome the last part of the Great Diagonal where the stone is smoother.
After the Gran Diagonal, you come to a pie that will have to be traced for a while until you will see a fairly obvious channel on your right. If we follow the tartera up to the top, we will reach the hill between Pollegó Inferior and Falso Pollegó Inferior, so we must be attentive when we see that a channel comes out on the right hand side.
The climb up the canal does not present great difficulties until the last spur: a pass of III degree. There are people who are naked, we go without, but we must be extremely careful. Once overcome, we will only have to climb the last blades to the top of Pollegó Inferior (2,445 m). With fog, as in our case, we must be careful not to deviate, since from the Great Diagonal at the top there are no marks and only a few milestones. But if you are lucky enough to stumble on a clear day, the views from the top are spectacular and you will be able to contemplate the magnitude of Pedraforca with great solitude, while on the other side of the enforcadura, dozens of people gather at the top of Pollegó Superior.
From the top, we will go down the spine without further complication. Soon, we will find a chain to go down through a small gap. It does not present great difficulty. Finally, it will not be necessary for us to go through the Joaquima balcony and we can turn off beforehand towards the uphill path following green markings and at some point, blue. Once in the lunch box, we make our way to the shelter and the car.
Authorship of photographs and text: Sergi Boixader