ROUTE 26: WALLON-MARCADAU REF. – GRAN FAXA
Wallon-Marcadau ref. - Cuello dera Faxa - Gran Faxa summit
- Time7h 25'
- Vertical rise1180 m
- Vertical descent1180 m
- Horizontal distance12,6 Km
- Type of journeyReturn
- Severity of the natural environment4
- Difficulty in movement5
- Amount of effort required4
A path descends from the terrace of Marcadau - Wallon refuge (1865 m) and crosses over a bridge to the other side of the stream. One the other side the path heads off to the southeast and leads into the Rol del Port de Marcadau valley. At the lowest part of the valley the ravine splits. Cross the ravine twice over two bridges. Next to the second bridge (1925 m) there is a crossing of paths with this route and the one, to the left, which leads to Port de Marcadau (crossing with route 17). The climb now starts up the path to the right which zigzags up the side under Pic Arraillous. The slope is arduous but the path is well marked making it easy to make progress. Leave the small Houn dets Espagnols (2291 m) to the right, and slightly further up the terrain levels off. The path follows a plain near one of the Lous d'era Hecha lakes and as it bears directly easy the slope becomes harder before eventually reaching Cuello dera Faxa (2665 m) (crossing with route 10).
On the left at the pass (south) the pyramid-like summit of Gran Faxa stands proud. Do not be taken in by the apparent proximity of the summit: over 500 m of vertical climb separate the peak and the pass. Moreover, the route is over very demanding ground, and should only be tackled by experienced mountaineers. Take care. The ascent is along the north ridge of the peak and although this stretch is not difficult there are some rather exposed parts. The steep climb and broken land means we have to pay attention. There are quite a few cairns and some partial paths that mark the route which in general follows the ridge. The last few metres take us up to the pre-summit and then on to the true summit of Gran Faxa (3006 m). A wonderful view of the Inferno and Balaitús massifs is had from this point and the numerous lakes hidden in the granite mountains of Panticosa and the picturesque valley we came up from Wallon, making all the effort worthwhile.
We return by retracing our steps on the same route.