The 24th and final stage of the Trans-Pyrenees Crossing begins at the dera Restanca Refuge and enables you to discover the beautiful and little know ravine valley of Rius. Once you reach Rius Port, you will leave Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park and begin the long descent through the Conangles Cirque until reaching Barravés Valley, which is connected to the Noguera Ribagorçana River. Conangles Refuge is the finish line for this extraordinary adventure!
High (F). Stage that runs through high mountain terrain. In winter conditions, the technical difficulty of the stage increases considerably.
In winter and spring, you will encounter snow and ice.
No special equipment required.
Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. 1:25.000. Editorial Alpina.
Vall de Boí. 1:25.000. Editorial Alpina.
Topographic base of Catalonia 1:25.000. Geological and Cartographic Institute of Catalonia (ICGC).
Let's begin the 24th stage of the Trans-Pyrenees Crossing to (1) dera Restanca Refuge (0:00 - 2,010m). Leave the shelter and you will pass over the lake dam. You will immediately begin a steep descent that leads to the bottom of the Rius Ravine. You will reach the bottom of the ravine at the altitude of the Rius Ponds and, from this point, you will begin to go up to the top, towards the west. The Rius Valley is spectacular: the vertical crest of the Malhs de Rius Mountain Range defines the entire ravine!
You will arrive at (2) the Rius Lake (2:00 - 2,325m) and go around its northern shore. You will face the last meters of ascent and arrive at (3) Rius Port (2:30 - 2,344m). From this hill you can now see the Barravés Valley -along with the Noguera Ribagorçana River and the Vielha tunnel road- and the huge Aneto-Maladeta Massif. You will begin to descend through the Conangles Cirque. You will first advance through an open area and then you will enter a forest.
Advance westwards until you reach the main valley (Barravés Valley). At this point, right next to the entrance to the tunnel, you will see the Espitau de Vielha Refuge. However, you will have to turn to the left (S) and walk 15 minutes through the interior of the Conangles Beech Forest until reaching the (4) Conangles Refuge (4:15 - 1,555m), the final part of the stage.
Walking down the Rius Ravine with the impressive walls of Malhs de Rius to your side.
The view of Molières Valley and the Aneto-Maladeta Massifs that you will experience during the descent through the Conangles Cirque.
The beautiful Conangles Beech Forest, which you will cross during the last part of the stage.
The Espitau de Vielha Refuge has been open to travellers since 1192? Er Espitau de Vielha, in Aranese, was built in 1192 to attend to and help the travellers and pilgrims that crossed the port of Vielha. Currently, the shelter has 70 beds and also offers a bar and restaurant. It is located just on the side of the southern entrance of the Vielha tunnel.
From Rius Lake or from Rius Port take a detour from the GR 11 route for a moment and visit the precious Redon Lake (1:00 roundtrip). The lake is thus named due to its almost circular shape.
At the Espitau de Vielha Refuge you will begin the GR 211-5 variant on the long path of the GR 211, which goes around the entire Aran Valley.