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Puerto de Coll de Pradell desde Vallcebre

Description

This is a brief but explosive ascent to Coll de Pradell from Vallcebre, a special-category (HC) mountain pass, with a maximum altitude of 1728 meters. The initial kilometers are moderate and not particularly challenging, with some flat sections where you can recover. From the fountain, at kilometer 4.3, you start noticing the gain in altitude, though the road still doesn’t present significant difficulties, with a gradient of around 5% – 6%. Soon, you encounter a junction and take a left towards Vallcebre. Before reaching the town, at a small viewpoint, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Cadí mountain range.

After passing Vallcebre, the road narrows significantly and becomes much more demanding, with a consistent gradient exceeding 10%. Looking up, you can see a small pass in the mountain where the road winds, and you soon pass through it. After this challenging stretch of just over 2 km, you can take a brief but well-deserved break at Pla de la Barraca, where the Fumanya junction is located. This area used to be a coal extraction site, and on one of its walls, there are said to be dinosaur footprints.

Continuing towards Coll de Pradell, the road improves again, becoming wider and well-paved. A series of tight curves begin, where the gradient reaches 14%. Upon reaching a rest area with an artificial lake, you can see what lies ahead: a straight stretch that inclines increasingly. A sign indicating 20% warns about this section, where the asphalt gives way to concrete for better grip. In these 400 meters of concrete, you encounter the steepest gradient of the entire ascent, peaking at 24%. Then, you return to asphalt with a steep 15% gradient, navigating a double hairpin turn. In this location, there’s a small train track from a mining area. After passing the track, there’s a 300-meter resting stretch before facing a 500-meter section with an 18% gradient.

You reach the summit of Coll de Pradell, where you can enjoy fantastic views of Pedraforca with its imposing walls. You can descend on the same side you climbed or head towards Coll de la Trapa. In one of the descent sections, you’ll find La Pleta, a picnic area with barbecues. After this area, the descent gradient becomes steeper, around 10%, until you reach Coll de la Trapa at an altitude of 1320 meters. From here, you have the option to continue towards Gósol or return to the starting point passing through Saldes.

The Route

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