La Gallina Pelada from Font Freda (Sierra de Ensija)
In the shadow of Pedraforca, the Sierra de Ensija offers us an exceptional walk through the Berguedan heights between coniferous forests, green alpine meadows and views in all four corners from the top of Gallina Pelada, the highlight of the excursion.
- Difficulty: easy-medium. No technical difficulties, only steep uphill slope
- Elevation gain: 705 meters (ascent)
- Time: between 3h and 4h, at an agile pace 2h
- Kilometers: 7 km
Variants: La Gallina Pelada can also be done from the southern slope, leaving Peguera or from the Cruz de Fumanya neck, with the possibility of making a circular route. Likewise, on the north side, you can also climb the Llobateres ravine, with a more moderate slope than the Font Freda torrent, and complete the circular going down the Font Freda. If you want to do more peaks, a good option is to do the entire Ensija mountain range up to the Iron Cross and the Serrat Voltor, with excellent views to the east.
We leave from the small parking lot next to Font Freda. In winter, with snowshoes, you will most likely have to leave from the Palomera park and you will have to add another 20 minutes to the route.
Next to the road, the stepped path leads to Font Freda. This is a good stop, so you can stay there to eat on the way down. From the Fountain, we go to the right following PR markings on a path that goes up through the middle of the forest.
After a few minutes, you get to the Fuente de Ensija stream, a rockier area that we will continue to climb up one side. The path skirts the most stony area and is climbing steadily. We gain a lot of unevenness in a short time, and we see to the right the small stream of the Fuente de Ensija. The road at some points makes small loops to save the unevenness, although we can go up where we can go, with caution since there is some section a little worn. In winter, with snow, this entire section is usually quite icy.
We continue up, with some more insurrection (all indicated with traces of PR) and after a loop, the path turns to the left and we leave the stream behind to begin to climb through an area where the forest begins to dawn and give way to the alpine meadows. Before us, the panoramic view of Pedraforca is magnificent, with a view that we are not used to seeing. Looking down, we will see how we have gained unevenness in a short time.
After a couple more loops, we come to a great uphill plan called "las Planelles". From here we will have a good view of the path that we still have to travel: to the right we will see the top of Gallina Pelada and, before us, the slopes that remain until we reach the refuge.
We continue up the obvious path and go up a rocky hill on the right side. Afterwards, the path climbs further to the left to find a small stream. Finally, we come to the Ensija plans, where there is a signpost. We continue south and the path turns west until we reach the Ensija refuge.
From there, the summit is half an hour, at an agile pace about 15 min. We just need to follow the path that leaves behind the refuge, climb an area of trees to a small hill, and from there finish reaching the end of the Gallina Pelada or towards Llitzet, the highest point of the Sierra de Ensija.
From the summit we will have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire Berguedà and Vall de Lord, with Pedraforca dominating the north slope and Montserrat to the south. To return, we will undo the same path.
Image and text authorship: Sergi Boixader