Pedraforca

Between the Catalan villages of Saldes and Gósol, where the provinces Barcelona and Lleida meet, Pedraforca Mountain rises magnificently. It is one of the most striking massifs and can be recognised from its distinctive silhouette even at a great distance.

Pedraforca is located in the Cadí Moixeró Natural Park and consists of two parallel ridges, the 2,506 metre high “Pollegó Superior” and the 2,444 metre high “Pollegó inferior”. They are connected by a long “neck”, known as the “enforcadura”. The unusual U-form that this lends the mountain makes it unique in the Catalan mountain landscape. It is also the origin of its name, made up of “Pedra” (in Catalan ‘Rock’), and “Forca” (in Catalan, ‘Fork’). In 1982 the Catalan parliament declared the park to be a nature conservation area of national interest. The woods and fields of the area are home to many and varied species of flora and fauna as well as countless bird species, for example the wallcreeper, with its impressive ability to climb rocky crags, the red crossbill and the jackdaw, among many others. Also to be found there is a wide variety of invertebrates, such as butterflies and molluscs.

During the Middle Ages, the region of Pedraforca and the surrounding area were the territory of the Count of Cerdanya, who used the castles of Gósol and Saldes to defend his lands. The paths across the fields were once used for livestock. Today they still pass by various structures such as large stone walls, enclosures, bridges, shelters and barns. Pedraforca is also a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The mountain became of particular interest to climbers when this sport was introduced into Cataluña and in winter the ascent of the north face of the Pedraforca was regarded as an adventure comparable with the famous winter climbs in the Alps. There are also “normal” hiking trails onto the mountain, but all hikers must bear in mind that it is a great challenge requiring intensive personal preparation.