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If you’re an intermediate skier, you enjoy skiing calmly and safely; you like going down comfortable, wide slopes and not steep drops. If you’re looking to enjoy skiing with your family and enjoy your holiday without any mishaps, then Baqueira’s Blue Safari (Initiated) is for you.
Come with us!
Blue Safari starting point (Initiated), INFO CAFÉ Baqueira 1800, which can be easily reached from Baqueira 1.500 on the Baqueira TS (4‘). Before setting off you can check your equipment, have a coffee and take another look at the great Blue Safari (initiated) route which will take you to all the corners of Baqueira Beret along slopes of average difficulty.
A nice hot coffee and we’re off to Cap de Baqueira!
We start off on our way to the Mirador TSD (8‘). Pay special attention when crossing the beginners’ area as well as the meeting point for courses and classes at Baqueira 1.800. Mirador TSD, an eight-minute ride.
The view of the Pyrenees and the Aran Valley from the viewpoint where the TSD arrives is breath-taking. Our descent begins down the Mirador* slope but don’t be scared!
Even though the slope is marked as red, the first three hundred metres are actually a blue slope. We ski down until we get to the first crossroads of slopes after passing next to the upper Pla de Baqueira TSD station. Here we will make a stop and check our map. Our plan is to go down to the Argulls valley and this first crossing is where the “Reds” (advanced) will have the chance to descend more quickly to the Argulls valley. And as we are the “Blues” (intermediate) we will carry on down the wide bends of the Mirador slope for another hundred metres until we can see the blue slope of Ta Argulls on our left. A comfortable route, gently sloping across the Pla de Baqueira and Ta Argulls slopes, until reaching the beginning of the Argulls valley.
* The Mirador trail 1990 saw the introduction of the first snow-making machines in Baqueira. This innovated over 5 Km (3 miles) of slopes stretching from Cap de Baqueira to Baqueira 1.500, the first two of which corresponded to the Mirador slope. Due to its width, it was popularly known as the M30.
Take care at the crossings, and don’t forget to gather up as much speed as you can in order to reach the upper Solei TS station from where the great descent to the Argulls valley begins. The last stretch of the slope takes us along the side of the mountain, so here we have to avoid making any kind of bend. Ski carefully!
We reach the Argulls valley. Take care of other skiers who like us are arriving at the crossroads, and watch out for the sign located next to the Parrec d’Argulls, from the slope towards the Teso dera Mina three-seater TS (11’), which is where we are heading. The path it cuts along the mountain ridge gives us the chance to enjoy some beautiful scenery.
When we get off the TS we will go straight ahead towards the Port de la Bonaigua: Lhastres dera Mina and the Bonaigua, lovely blue slopes! The final stretch of the Bonaigua slope narrows before it becomes the route to take us to the Port de la Bonaigua (Bonaigua Port) itself. You can make a stop in the narrowi part should you need to, in order to prepare your descent. When you reach the path, ski straight and this way you can avoid making turns so you will have no problem crossing the bridge that spans the road to get to the chairlifts.
Ski with care!
Cap de Port, two-seater TS (8 ‘). Careful you don’t get off at the halfway stop. This chairlift links us up to Peülla area and it will be the Pleta del Duc slope whichwilltake us to the La Peülla TSD (4 ‘) in the Valls d’Áneu* (Àneu Valleys) region.
*The Àneu Valleys are high valleys which stretch along the Noguera Pallares and Bonaigua rivers. Known as the Alt Àneu valleys, they form part of the Catalan region of the Pallars Sobirà. In 2003 Baqueira Beret increased its skiable area towards the Pallaresa de Àneu slope, with the installation of three new chairlifts: Peülla TSD, Bonaigua TSD and Cap de Port TS.
From the La Peülla TSD station we can see the bottom of the Bonaigua valley and the striking contrast between the white snow and the intense darkness of the thickest fir-tree forest of the Pyrenees, the València d Àneu forest.
Back to the Port! The Pleta del Duc – a really wide slope – starts to narrow little by little and we should slow down. There is quite a steep drop down around a small copse of trees and we are now facing the Cap a Baqueira slope. Another descent where it is essential to get up some speed so we do not fall short and be forced to use our sticks, if you see what I mean…
Some of the slopes on our Blue Safari (Initiated), have a slight inclination along some stretches, and the blue becomes tinged with red. Come on skiers, you can do it!
At the Port we take the Bonaigua TSD (4‘) which goes to the Argulls hill, at 2,350 metres altitude on the way back to Baqueira.
Here you have a choice between the Argulls or Argulls bis slopes which are highly enjoyable. These wide slopes stretch down through the valley, and make for easy skiing, taking us down to the bottom of the Manaud TS (9 ‘) which will take us back to the Cap de Baqueira.
We are now back at the Cap de Baqueira once again, only this time we are higher up; the Manaud TS arrival point is located slightly above the Mirador TSD, and at the same height as the upper station of the Jorge Jordana TSD.
From this point we now have to ski down the Cara Nord slope, which crosses the North side of the Baqueira Mountain. Let’s follow the signposts.
The slopes goes off to the right at a big crossroads underneath the Mirador TSD route before narrowing off and reaching the North Face of the mountain. Take care as you come out of the narrow part! As this is a stopping area for skiers, the terrain can be very uneven and the blue becomes red, although this rarely happens now thanks to the new incorporation of snow cannons at this point. We get to Orri and from here we link up with the Beret area.
(If you wish to end the first part of the Blue Safari in Orri, the Dera Cascada trail will take you back to Baqueira 1.500. There you can take the Baqueira TC and get back to the INFO CAFÉ in Baqueira 1.800. When you feel like completing the second part, you can go back to Orri from the INFO CAFÉ by taking the Era Cabana TSD ( 3‘), then descending by Ta Orri and Cara Nord )
Jesús Serra TSD (6‘)*. Rest. By now we have accumulated a good few kilometres in our legs. This is the way to reach the open area of Beret. We make the descent down to the immense Beret Plain along the open trails of either Ta Beret, the choice is up to you. Just enjoy this blue paradise!
We get to the Beret Plain and take the Blanhiblar TSD (6‘). At the upper station the best thing to do is to take a break on the Parrec de Blanhiblar terrace, enjoy a refreshment and you could even start to celebrate our Blue Safari (Easy) with a glass of Cava and a slice of Iberian ham.
* Jesús Serra detachable chairlift. Opened in December 2014 to replace the Vista Beret Chairlift and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Baqueira Beret Ski Resort, in memory of Jesús Serra ￼Santamans who played such an important role in the resort’s development.
The view from this privileged point of the areas of Beret and Baqueira is unique, so make sure you take all the time in the world to enjoy it.
We will continue on our Safari by descending the Roques d’en Macià trail. This slope runs between some spectacular rocky gendarmes watching our movements. There are two small drops with a steeper slope, which once crossed will make us pick up speed in order to get on the Costarjàs TQ (6‘), a two-seater ski lift which will take us up to the peak of the Costarjàs mountain.
The descent once more to the Beret Plain runs along the Costarjàs trail parallel to the ski lift. The terrain here is easy and varied, and in some stretches we will have to pick up speed so as to avoid coming to a standstill. Once you reach the bottom of the detachable chairlift, the slope descends along a simple river bed that leads to Blanhiblar, taking us to the last stretch on the way to the Beret Plain.
From here, you can take a look at the Boardercross located on the left of the trail, here is where you can see the most daring snowboarders and riders making their way down the spectacular twists, turns and jumps of a formidable toboggan.
And so we reach the end of the trail, now hardly descending at all. We cross the Beret road by the bridge, to make our way finally to the Plain. We have to pick up speed on this last stretch and avoid making bends and stopping when we cross the bridge. We will all be going very fast at this point. Oh, and don’t get scared because the Beret Plain will make sure you slowly lose pace before we get to our next TSD, the Dera Reina*
*The Dera Reina TSD. Opened in December 1982 by HRH Queen Sofía of Spain. It was the first mechanical ski lift to be installed in the Beret area. In 1999 it was replaced by the present six-seater detachable chairlift, when its original route was altered and lengthened.
Nearly, nearly there, because the Dera Reina TSD (7‘) leaves us very near to this impressive peak. Once again we are going to need a break to enjoy this scenery and get ready for the descent of over six kilometres that we have ahead of us to Baqueira 1.500.
A few metres after we leave towards the right, we will find the beginning of the Torn de Baciver trail, a gently sloping path which caresses the mountain and takes us to a very Alpine part where the trail widens and incites us to race and race and race until we meet up with the Ta Baqueira trail on the way to Orri.
This is great! Skiing down wide open slopes, as blue as the sky over the Pyrenees!
Take a break in the spot that takes your fancy when your legs need it and your heart is racing. Ta Baqueira takes you to this fantastic place so that you can enjoy the best views of the Aneto and the Maladetas mountains, which grace the Aran Valley.
And now take heed of our advice at the end of the Blue Safari (Initiated):
The final run is like the descent after climbing a high mountain. You have to pay great attention. We have gone down a lot of the resort’s easy slopes, where we have always had to be aware, committed and skilful, as sometimes the slopes get steeper and the quality of the snow has helped to make the going easier or harder.
From Orri we follow the Dera Cascada trail, a beautiful route where the relief is varied and which will lead us back home, satisfied and proud at the end of our Blue Safari (Initiated).
We will ski carefully along the final Dera Cascada stretch, and enjoy the final descent until we reach Baqueira 1.500, where we will take the Baqueira TC.
Arrival point: INFO CAFÉ Baqueira 1.800
Time has been calculated for intermediate level according to the following parameter (based on information from the NSAA – National Ski Area Association, USA-):
Speed of skier 280 m/min. of length of slope.
Descent of 1 min. per every 400 m. of length of slope.
|Maximum : 4.1ºC