Climbing Coma Pedrosa was an amazing experience. I was on my way back to the alps after Portugal to do Dufourspitze but my guide called me the day before and told me it wouldn´t be possible because of all the new snow. So I decided to go to Andorra instead to do Coma Pedrosa.
I arrived to Andorra an instantly fell in love with this beautiful country. Small towns with the feeling of moderna ski resorts but still cosy and with great service made me want to come back here again soon to snowboard.
Me and my assistant Jacob drove up to the hotel where the trail starts and after packing my backpack I took off. My schedule had almost never perfect timing when climbing. I always ended up starting to late due to late arrival the night before (we often had to drive 10-12 h per day to get to the next mountain and always got to the next location like 2am in the morning). So I think it was almost lunch before I was on my way. But I was not too worried about that. I figured that hiking down in the dark wouldn´t be a big problem and that the trail probably was going to be nice and simple the first part…
And it was at first. Just a road uphill, not too steep. But pretty quickly it winded up the beautiful forest and got really rocky. Not a problem in daylight but I could see that it was going to be a problem in the dark (I forgot my headlamp in the car).
The weather was just perfect and I really enjoyed the hiking in the forest. Since I wanted to come down before dark I tried to walk pretty fast, not stopping for any breaks and tried to eat some snacks and walk at the same time.
I don´t think the pictures make the scene right. It was just so amazing.
After two hours of hiking through the forest it opened up to this valley (where there is a hut to the left). I met two guys from the UK that was on the way down and they told me there was snow on the top but they made fresh tracks for me.
After hiking in the valley the trail started to become more steep again. But who can complain with a view like this?
After climbing some elevation the snow showed up. I had my crampons and ice ax with me but didn´t feel the need to use them. I met another group of people that was on the way down. They had turned around because of the snow and they told me it was very slippery. When I saw their shoes I could see why they thought so. I had my Hanwag boots on from Naturkompaniet so I felt fine and continued the hike over snow and rocks and passed a lake before I reached the foot of the summit.
With just 200-300 altitude meter left to climb the last person I would run into during this day came down, sliding in the snow slope with pretty shaky legs (and again, bad shoes). I walked up to him and he told me to go up the ridge instead of the slope cause it would be easier. I was not really sure to take his advice or not but decided to give it a try. That was probably the wrong thing to do. During this project I have got so many bad advice from inexperienced people (or people who havn´t even climbed the mountain) so that is something I have learned. To do my own research and listen only to people who have experience and know what they are talking about. And of course, trust your own judgement and learn from your own experiences.
I traversed over to the ridge and started climbing. It was scrambling with exposure and because of the snow, really slippery. I didn´t feel 100% comfortable because I was up there all alone and some parts were climbing and I had to take my gloves off to get good grip on holds with my hands. It was not too technical for me. I do have some climbing experience even if I only done it for 10 months and climb 6A-6B at the gym so far. It was really fun and I loved the rock but I also knew that a fall would be painful and to know I was alone and the last person on the mountain that day I decided to be more safe and traversed over to a slope where I found tracks from someone else and continued that way up to the summit ridge.
I got up there and felt really happy. It had been a great day with such a beautiful and nice hike and then some excitement on the ridge in the end.
Summit selfie at 2943 m!
The view was very rewarding as the sun started to set in the afternoon. I didn´t stay too long at the summit and decided to try to take another route down. I looked around and found a path going down on the other side of the mountain and started walking down that.
The route down on the other side made me not have to go down this steep slope of snow or the ridge where I came up from and was really easy and pleasant to hike down on. Less snow and less slippery.
After hiking down as fast as I could I came down just in time for the sun to set and got this amazing view over the mountains. A few hours earlier I was on the top of that peak over there. I think it took me like 7 hours in total to climb up and down. And I loved every second of it. Even if there was a moment where I met two bears on the way down (they where in the forest like 100 m from me and ran away cause I scared them). Even if I don´t have that much experience in handling animals I have been in Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite a lot and I have met bears before and know that black and brown bear will most likely get scared of you and run away (if it´s not a mom trying to protect her cubs or if it´s eating and you disturb that). And just making noise (like clap your hands or talk loud to yourself so it will think you are more people) will scare it away most of the times.
If you are into hiking and want a really beautiful hike with some challenge in the end I can not recommend this enough. And Andorra is such an amazing place, I wish I had more time to spend there but we had to leave right after dinner and start driving towards the alps. Since Dufourspitze was no longer an option me and my guide Sandy Allan (who I climbed Mont Blanc with) planned to do some alpine climbing on some ridges in Chamonix instead. And that was a really awsome experience. We climbed Aiguille dEntrèves and the Cosmique Route. Can really recommend it, was great!
Mountain no 11