Route The 7 lakes of Colomèrs

19

Estanh dera Lòssa | Estanh Major | Estanh de Colomèrs | Estanh Mort | Estanh Garguilhs de Jos | Estanh de Cabidornats | Estanh Long

Technical data

Diffficulty: Difficult

Type: Hiking

Distance: 5,7 km

Time: 5h

Elevation: 360m

Description

The lake laden Colomèrs basin is a mountain range formed in the shape of a circle which holds in its basin nearly 50 lakes (estanhs). The slow, but efficient process of erosion of ice from the glacier era left behind the legacy of an incomparable landscape. The access to the refuge is worth the effort to get there. The surroundings in this high mountain landscape with high and steep mountain peaks reaching 3000 m in altitude are simply breathtaking. The Creu de Colomèrs, the Gran Tuc de Colomèrs and the Tuc de Ratera are a few of the more emblematic peaks of this range. The proposed hike is a circular route passing by the nearest lakes to the entrance of the Colomèrs basin. You will pass by 7 completely different lakes.

Detailed Route:

From the taxi stop at Montanheta a sign indicates a trail which goes up until reaching the first lake, Lòssa Lake. Once you have arrived to the river take the trail to the right (without crossing the river) until you reach the Colomèrs refuge (1). Leave the dam on your left and follow the trail nearest to the Major Lake of Colomèrs (2) until the refuge. You will go around the lake on a somewhat uncomfortable trail which becomes quite slippery and steep when it rains. You will continue on until reaching the Mòrt Lake and will go around it on the left side. After going up a small canal the yellow marks separate from the red ones. (3) Follow the yellow marks to the left which will take you to the Garguilhs de Jos Lake. You will go around and over the stream coming from the lake. The trail goes up, down and around another stream. To the left below a chasm there is an area of stagnant water. You will go down a small basin and then go up a small hill which will lead you to the Cabidornats Lake. Go around the lake on the left side following the yellow marks until you reach the Long Lake (4). Continue along on the left to the beginning of Estanh Lake (5) and later turn left on the GR which leads to the Còth de Clòto pass where you will see the Clòto de Baish Lake. After passing over the saddle you will descend until the trail splits. Take the trail to the right until it joins the first crossing next to the river. Walk the last part of the trail until the stating point.

Curiosities:

The glacial lakes were formed when the glaciers withdrew from the great basins leaving behind large chasms in the earth which have now converted into lakes. The stones and boulders scattered throughout the landscape were at once part of great slabs of granite which were moved by the retreat of the glaciers. The gentiana flowering plant (genciana acaulis) with is violet blue colour is a plant which buries its roots underground and from one plant spring forth a number of flowers scattered about. It is interesting to note that the first flowers take 12 years to bloom. Another plant from this area known as aconite (aconitum napelus) is one of the more toxic plants known to be mortal even in small doses. It is used as a painkiller in cataplasms for gout or rheumatism.