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El Pedraforca: the emblematic mountain

Pedraforca is one of the most emblematic mountains known. Its shape, the legends around it and the extremely long tradition of climbing and hiking, have made it a landmark of mountaineering and popular culture. Its forked shape, with two rounded and almost perfect peaks and the fact that it is not part of any range, "living" completely alone, have made it a  photographic attraction. It has two parallel slopes: Pollegó Superior (or upper ridge), 2,506 metres high, and Pollegó Inferior (or lower ridge), 2,444 metres, joined by L'Enforcadura (or the Fork), of 2,356 metres, with a scree on each side, the one facing the village of Saldes -on the east- and the one facing Gósol -on the west-, and it also has a secondary peak connected to the Pollegó Superior, which is the Calderer, 2,496 high. The main characteristic of the Pedraforca massif is its geological complexity. Additionally, it has been declared Natural Site of National Interest and the surrounding area is a part of the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park.

 

The Pedraforca is a hiking icon, with routes to the peaks that include some small climbing stretches. However, it is necessary to be fit, take into consideration possible weather changes and use adequate gear. For those who want to climb, Via Estasen, open in 1928, is considered a reference that opened many possibilities. The difficulties of the north face of the Pedraforca in winter were comparable to some winter climbs in the Alps. The Lluís Estasen shelter is a good starting point for any outing.

 

The mystique of the magic mountain, as the Pedraforca is also known, is sustained principally by the legends that link it to witches and the night of Saint Sylvester, the last night of the year. They are stories that speak about witches' Sabbaths and justify the singular shape of the mountain. Because the Pedraforca is attractive by day as well as night-time. With or without witches, the quality of the sky in Saldes has darkness thirty times more  intense that the metropolitan area  and can be enjoyed with the naked eye or from the recently opened Pedraforca Astronomy Centre. The municipality has the seal of Space with Quality Night-time Sky.

 

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