Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

Sue's Big Adventure on Puig de Massanella

Here's Sue's report on yesterday's Big Adventure, with some thumbnail images courtesy of her ipad. 

"Puig de Massanella...
.....Is Majorca's highest climbable mountain (due to Puig Major being a military zone) at 1364m. Yesterday's forecast was ideal so the Berlingo and I ran the gauntlet of the mountain road to Soller again, this time slowed up by a Jet2 coach which allowed a cyclist to pass me on the ascent!

I made a 10am start after parking on the road at the Coll de sa Batalla, up a shady track, soon losing the sound of cars, replaced by bird song. A charge of 6 euros was made by a man in a kiosk, who was accompanied by a friendly little dog, Luna. Only ten or so people had already passed through.
It was soon warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, as the path climbed steadily. A brown broomrape had thrust three stalks out of the soil on the path, and higher up, the rosemary was covered in blue flowers.

Engraved stones helped with route finding, replaced by numerous small cairns on the narrow path through thinning trees. The views grew, of nearby wooded hills, across the southern plain to Palma and the south coast. The trees thinned and around 1160m was a stone staircase leading down to a cave, with two further stone staircases leading to the Font de s'Avenc. A Danish man I'd met earlier had a torch, enabling me to see the font. The water was delicious!

A steep ascent up sharp limestone followed, and gained the plateau below the summit. Stinking helleborines and sage were growing amongst the rocks, accompanied by several brown goats.

The summit ridge was fabulous, with views to the mountains to the west and the blue reservoir, east to the Formentor peninsular and the bay of Alcudia and south to the plains, Palma and the sea. I was the only British person amongst the dozen or so people on the summit.

A very impressively deep snow pit (maybe 80m) about 10m away from the summit made my Danish companion admit his fear of heights.
After lunch at this eyrie, the two of us set off together to find an alternative descent, via the Coll des Prat. The route was easily located, but descended a ridge which couldn't be described as knife-edged, but required care and appeared to be a popular ascent route. An easy path led to the col in an open valley which is traversed by the GR221. 

Just below here was another, shallower, snow pit near the ruins of a farm building. The winding path down the open valley was wide but full of loose stones, but the views ahead were a good distraction. Lower down, the path became a track through woodland and it then wasn't long until I passed the kiosk again. "You were quick" said the man, who I told that I was looking forward to a cup of tea. "I prefer beer" was his reply!

The wooded track shortly returned me to the car at 3.35, and I was back at our Port de Pollenca abode at 4pm, at the same time as Martin, Lyn and Robert, for tea on our sunny veranda.

A fabulous mountain day (and one I'd happily repeat, J&R)."

3 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

The Munros next?

AlanR said...

I must check my photos. I’m sure I went up Puig Major? It’s a great area which I have never managed to get to again.

Phreerunner said...

Haha, Sue has been up a lot of Munros already.