Another long and varied day in the mountains awaits, make your way from Sorteny to the Refugi Comapedrosa, which sits at the foot of the Comapedrosa mountain, the highest peak in Andorra at 2,943m.
A long day of hiking which we have made more manageable with a couple of amendments.
Start with a gentle descent on a wide jeep track from the Sorteny hut to the bus stop at El Serrat. From here, we suggest hoping on the bus to Llorts. This saves about 45 minutes walking (urbanised, low level) giving you more time to spend on the more strenuous and scenic sections of the trail. The first bus leaves at 8.30am and we highly recommend catching this one if you choose to take the bus. They run only every hour. Allow an hour to descend from the hut to the bus stop. The bus costs approx. 1.50 euro per person (cash only, change is given but very large notes may be refused). Descend at Llorts (pronounced Yorts). From here begin a long climb. The gradient is steady until the very final section. Begin by walking through the tree-line from which you emerge onto a grassy bowl, where the path becomes undulating, and the final steep ascent is on a section of slow-going scree!
Walk along an undulating ridge, before a grassy descent to the valley where we suggest an alternative route, detouring from the official route to save about an hour of arduous walking (which seems like illogical routing in our opinion!). The alternative route is by no means less scenic. Follow a peaceful forest path (following yellow dots) before re-joining the official path. From here the final slog up to Refugi Coma Pedrosa begins. Take it steady and enjoy the views, count on about 2 hours to cover the 500m ascent.
Today follows a mixture of coronallcs signs, red/white, red/yellow and yellow painted dots. If ever in doubt, consult the app and/or route notes.
Take the bus from El Serrat to Llorts to miss about 45 mins of insignificant walking. This will give you more time to tackle the strenuous and more scenic sections later in the day.
There are a couple of possible escape routes today should the weather be too bad to continue, or for whatever reason someone in your party cannot complete the trek to the hut. One option is to take the bus from El Serrat all the way to Ordino, from where you can get another bus or taxi to Andorra l Vella/Escaldes. Timetables can be found here : http://www.ordino.ad/comu/atencio-ciutadana-servei-circulacio/docs/bus.PDF
In the later stages of the hike, there is the chance to descend to Arinsal from where you can catch a bus to the capital. Timetables can be found here: http://visitandorra.com/ca/content/download/418517/11930534/file/L5_ENG.pdf
If you would still like to stay at the Coma Pedrosa hut but do not want to walk the full route as described here, another option would be to take the bus from El Serrat to Ordino, and the bus from Ordino to Arinsal. From Arinsal, ascend to the Refugi Coma Pedrosa (approx 6km, 800m ascent, signposted locally)
Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains - always be prepared and carry appropriate clothing; warm as well as waterproof layers, hat and gloves etc. Please see your information pack for a detailed packing list.
Today you may be walking past a few different areas where cows graze. Although generally very docile and used to walkers, keep your distance and never turn your back on a cow that is behaving strangely or aggresive. Be particularly vigilant around cows with calves.
Good waterproof boots are a must and walking poles are highly recommended, they are helpful not only for managing ascents and descents but also to help with the river crossings. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack or packed lunch.
There are no places to stop en route for snacks or so you should bring a packed lunch with you today, order it at the Sorteny hut upon arrival (payable locally). Take plenty of water with you. We recommend 2-3 litres per person. There is a spring at approx 18km in (Font de Moixo)
Points of Interest
Is one of the few remaining towns in Andorra with traditional Andorran architecture. Most Andorrans will agree that its most well kown and biggets towns are not particularly attractive and are very built up. Llorts however has retained its traditional charm and is adorned with picturesque stone buildings.
The peak of Coma Pedrosa is Andorra's highest standing at 2,943m high. The hike to the summit is strenuous but not technical, therefore it is a popular summit with locals and tourists alike. Some people start from Arinsal and climb all the to the top from here in one day, or some will split the hike with an overnight in the Coma Pedrosa hut.