On the border between Andorra and France
A monumental yet relatively easily accessible mountain on the border between Andorra and France. Pic de Tristaina (or also Pic de Tristagne) rises to a height of 2,878 m above sea level, high above the surrounding valleys. The ascent is not technically demanding, only in the last section below the peak it is sometimes necessary to use your hands. The ascent and descent of the described route in good weather takes approximately 5 hours. If you like the views, expect six hours.
The first part of the output
The starting point of the tour is the Coma d´Arc car park at the very end of the CG-3 road leading from el Serrat. From this place it is possible to go to a number of surrounding peaks – such as Punta de Peiraguils, Pic de Caraussans, Pic de Cabanyó, Pic de Cataperdis and more. However, the highest of them, Pic de Tristaina, awaits us. The parking lot is located at an altitude of about 2,200 m above sea level, so the elevation that is in front of us is not dizzying. There is also a restaurant by the parking lot – the only option for refreshments on the route. From the parking lot, the road first rises slightly. After about fifteen minutes of walking and climbing about 100 meters, the destination of our journey (left) appears in front of us. To the right is the promontory of the neighboring mountain Pic de l'Albeille.
From here, various turns gradually separate from the road, some marked, others not. Some also lead to Lake Estany Primer, which is now below us.
Estany del Mig
While Estany Primer lies a bit on the side of our route (but it is definitely worth a walk), the next lake Estany del Mig lies directly on the route.
Estany de Més Amunt
Not far from Estany del Mig is another and this time the last lake we will go around (if we do not count another small lake a little higher – Llacuna Superior). Estany de Més Amunt is not only the highest, but also by far the largest of the three lakes. So far, it was more of a pleasant walk, the next part of the ascent will be much more challenging.
The second part of the output
We are now just over 1.5 km from the top, but still more than 500 meters above sea level. At first, the path climbs relatively slightly, at the Llacuna Superior lake it even leads almost along the plain for a while, but soon the right mountain ascent begins. The slope increases significantly, the terrain deteriorates and in several places of walking it turns into climbing. The higher we are, the more the view of the valley below us and the mountains that surround it from all sides opens up.
After three hours we are at the top. We will not find any cross here, but the top book is hidden here. The views are breathtaking, both back to Andorra and to the other side of the ridge, to France. The peaks of the mountains rise all around.
View to the west
Looking west, we see the Étang de la Oussade on the French side, above it the peak of Pic de Malcaras and in the background probably (without guarantee) a massif on the border between France and Spain with several three thousand peaks (Pica d'Estats, Punta Gabarró, Pic Rodó of Canalbona).
Even on the French side, there are several lakes in the valley below the summit. On the left the already mentioned Étang de la Oussade, in the middle the Étang Fourcat and behind it the Petit Étang Fourcat.
You can also descend from the top to the French side, but as we are limited by the fact that we have to return to the parking lot from which we left, all we have to do is return the same way. Alternatively, at Lake Llacuna Superior, turn right onto the Circ de Tristaina road, which bypasses Estany de Més Amunt and Estany del Mig from the opposite side. The last photo is taken from a place just below the top. Below you can see Estany del Mig, behind it a car park and above it part of the ski resort on the opposite slope below the peaks of Cap de la Coste Grande, Pic de Cataperdis and others.
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