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If you are an expert skier and you enjoy skiing on all kinds of snow. You are familiar with our slopes, your equipment is in perfect technical condition, you look after your safety and the safety of other skiers. You are in good shape, then you are a Black Safari (Expert) skier, a route along our resort’s hardest slopes which we have prepared for you.
The starting point for the Black Safari (Expert) INFO CAFÉ Baqueira 1800, next to the upper station of Baqueira TC. Have a nice coffee before setting off on our Safari and we are off!
We set off heading for the Era Cabana TSD. Careful crossing the beginners’ area and meeting points for courses and classes in Baqueira 1800.
Era Cabana TSD, three-minute ride. All set?
We are on our way to Orri. Opposite us is the start of the Ta Orri , which will lead us to the Cara Nord and where we will join the Horat deth Bò trail. Three comfortable and easy stretches, to warm up our legs and take us to the Jorge Jordana TSD* over the bridge that crosses the Malo river. Wrap up!
*Jorge Jordana de Pozas, founder of Baqueira Beret and company President since the beginning of the resort in 1964 until 1999.
We go up to the Cap de Baqueira at 2,500 m and come out right at the start of the Manaud* trail. The first couloir, the steepest, is usually left ungroomed by the machines, although thanks to the improvements in recent years, it has been used more and as such is in better condition. At the bottom of the slope the difficult part ends and the newly remodelled trail makes its way towards the Argulls valley through a single and impressive valley which is unknown to many.
Just before you come to Argulls, Manaud is at the start of Muguet. It runs parallel to the Argulls bis trail and here is where the two slopes end.
Remember to ski safely and slow down at this point.
At the crossing watch out for novice skiers arriving at Argulls and for the signpost next to the Parrec d’Argulls, for the way to the Teso dera Mina TS three-seater (11‘) which is where we are heading. On the way we will get the chance to take a look at the descent we have just made from the Cap de Baqueira by the Manaud.
*André Manaud: French skier from Ariège, great fan of our resort and a skiing pioneer in Baqueira.
As we pass between pylons nºs 14 and 15, we can see the Pala del Teso where we will be descending next. End of the Teso dera Mina TS route. Ready?
We make a full turn to our left and follow the Teso dera Mina slope, which runs alongside the ski lift route. The slope takes us near the mountain crest where we will turn off to reach the Pala del Teso, a spectacular couloir, open, nice incline and virgin snow. Watch out at the start! If a lot of skiers have passed by, the ground can be bumpy on the entrance side and the wind can sculpt small cornices, leaving some rocks uncovered.
La Pala del Teso is a real challenge for the expert skier on virgin snow with absolutely no degree of difficulty. You can’t have everything!
We come back to the lower station of the Teso dera Mina TS by the Argulls valley.
A new descent. Now we are flying over the Pala del Teso. Made it!
There are three magnificent moments on this Safari and we’re already at the first, the Pala del Teso. Now for the second! This is a brand new trail just as we leave the Teso dera Mina detachable chairlift, known as the Barranc der Aire. Everyone has the same thought in mind when they reach this place: to ski straight to the Bonaigua. But make sure that you follow the signs that show the way to the top! Freshly driven snow in an alpine setting dotted with pine trees, snow pits where it’s best to glide lightly over and deliciously skiable slopes take us to the Bonaigua trail and the peak.
Watch your speed on your way towards the Port; the slope narrows and there are lots of skiers making their way down and crossing the bridge which spans the road to get to the Chairlifts. Ski with care!
Bonaigua detachable chairlift. We go back to the peak of Argulls. On the way up we can look down over the route of the Barranc der Aire trail.
Argulls Peak. We go straight to the Llança (5’) TQS.
We have reached the highest skiable point of the whole resort, 2,520 metres high. Cigalera is waiting for us! We ski off to the right where we see an entrance inviting us to follow a line that crosses the mountain from a distant peak. This peak, Cigalera is the third great moment in our series. It begins with a gentle slope of fresh snow and then a steeper slope that links up with the Muntanyó, slope, on the way to the Peak. Simply unique!
Cap de Port TS (4’), two-seater. We get off at the halfway point –don’t miss the stop - and opposite us we look for the signpost to Del Riu trail. This is a really great slope to go down. Before taking the Cap de Port TS, find out if the Del Riu slope is open to avoid getting off at the halfway stop if it isn’t. If it is closed, we go to the end of the TS route and go down the Pleta del Duc slope until the La Peülla TSD.
A dozen wide turns lead us to a narrowing which takes us to a steep slope which then goes opens out onto a wide, slope that gently takes us down to the La Peülla TSD. Don’t forget to pick up speed on this slope so that you can easily get onto the ski lift.
Did you enjoy the descent?
La Peülla, the Àneu Valleys, a beautiful place the other side of the Bonaigua; a unique, undiscovered spot. Let’s go there! Gerber and La Pala Gran awaits us.
Once we get to the La Peülla TSD, we ski off to the left down the first of the walls of the Peülla. After this first slope we come to the start of Gerber, a steady slope that runs over the Clot Gran and the Peülla TSD.
Speechless! Safari, I promise you haven’t see the last of me....
Back at the upper station of La Peülla (4’) TSD, we ski for a few metres along la Pleta del Duc looking for the sign on the right for the entrance to Pala Gran, a vertiginous black slope: From the upper stop of the La Peülla TSD (4’) we ski a few metres along the Pleta del Duc towards the right, looking for the signpost marking the start of the Pala Gran, a vertiginous black slope:
An open and easy area leads us, by two wide gently-sloping curves, to the Pala Gran which slopes down at a regular pace to the bottom of the valley, then runs along the last few metres of the Pleta del Duc until we get back to the La Peülla TSD.
Back to the Port* Pleta del Duc – very open – slowly narrows and we have to start slowing down. There is a steep drop down around a small copse of trees and we find ourselves opposite the Cap a Baqueira slope. Another descent where it is essential to get up some speed so we do not fall short and have to use our sticks, if you see what I mean…
*Port de la Bonaigua – Opened to traffic in 1924. It was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII. For many years it was the only road connecting the Aran Valley with the Pallars region, until in 1948 when the Vielha Tunnel was opened.
We take the Bonaigua TSD (4’) towards the Collado de Argulls. The Argulls and Argulls bis trails are very popular with children and novice skiers. Watch your speed! We ski down towards the base of the Manaud TS (9’) which will take us back to the Cap de Baqueira.
And now we meet the Luis Arias * trail, our resort’s most emblematic black slope, and a great challenge for anyone new to our slopes.
From the Cap de Baqueira next to the aerials we make our way down towards Orri. On the back of the Cap’s peak there is a considerable drop until you reach the first “wall” of Arias; the second is halfway down near the woods and the third at the bottom of a beautiful valley.
I said “meet” the Luis Arias slopes, and we have the former route left to do called the Pales der Arias 1.
*Luis Arias, Olympic skier from the Arias del Puerto de Navacerrada saga. Baqueira Beret’s first director.
We take the Jorge Jordana TSD (8’) once again towards the Cap de Baqueira. Then we look for the start of the Luis Arias trail under the chairlift route following our Black Safari (Expert) pictogram. Before we properly get onto the Luis Arias slope, a diversion sends us to the Cara Nord where we carry on for a few metres in order to reach the beginning of Pales der Arias 1. Just look at that snow! A steep, tough drop is the Pales der Arias 1. A short rest depending on the snow and slope conditions before making our way down the wall of Pales der Arias 2, not such a demanding descent this time.
Now we can really feel our legs. But we’re not finished yet… We still have to go down the famous Tubo Nere.
Halfway down the Pales der Aries 2 we turn off and cross the Cara Nord (North Face) on the way to the Salida Cara Nord (North Face Exit). We cross the last few metres of the Oso trail and reach the Mirador slope where we take the Mirador Detachable chairlift* (8’). Halfway down the Pales der Arias 2 we turn off by crossing the Cara Nord towards Salida Cara Nord (North Face Exit). Crossing the Os slope we reach the Mirador and take the Mirador* (8’) TSD.
Mirador TSD* Opened in the 1990/91 season. Together with the Bosque TSD, these were the resort’s first detachable chairlifts, marking the beginning of a period of progress and development in Baqueira Beret.
We can take a breather at the top! Taking in the view of the Pyrenees from this fantastic scenic balcony located next to the upper station of the TSD will give you the energy you need to go on: La Guineu is a red slope that runs along under the Mirador TSD. You cannot miss it. It takes you straight to the beginning of the Tubo Nere when it joins up with the Cara Nord.
Here is where we find the start of the Tubo Nere. Careful at this point! The ground is usually bumpy due to its sharp drop and you have to find the best place to make the first turns that lead you to the “white”- I mean “black” Tubo, and enjoy!
That was great! Once we have reached the Cara Nord, we carry on to Orri.
I think we’ll stop off for a break at the “Moet” and get ready to discover the mountain of Saumet.
(Si deseáis finalizar en Orri el primer tramo del Safari Negro, la pista Dera Cascada os lleva de vuelta a Baqueira 1500. Allí podréis tomar el TCD Baqueira y volver a INFO CAFÉ en Baqueira 1800. Cuando os apetezca realizar el segundo tramo, podéis volver a Orri desde INFO CAFÉ tomando el TSD Era Cabana (3 ‘) y descender por Ta Orri y Cara Nord.
(If you want to finish the first part of the Black Safari in Orri, the Dera Cascada slope will take you back to ￼Baqueira 1500. There you can take the Baqueira chairlift which will leave you at the INFO CAFÉ in Baqueira 1800. When you are ready for the next stage, you can go back to Orri from the INFO CAFÉ by taking the Era Cabana (3 ‘) detachable chairlift and ski down Ta Orri and Cara Nord.
If you were adventurous enough to try out the Red Safari, you had the chance to go down the red slope of Saumet but, as you well know, you still had two black slopes to do, from the Black Safari, Craba and Sanglièr circuit.
So let’s go for them! Responsibly, of course...
In Orri we take the Jesús Serra detachable chairlift (6’). What a luxury! From the upper station we go down the Vista Beret to the entrance to the Saumet platter lift.
EXPERT SKIERS ONLY!
Get your breath back at the top of the platter lift, look around you and enjoy. It is a unique feeling!
We will start off by discovering Craba – Goat – our first suggestion in Saumet. A steep slope that can be tough in places and although it’s nice and wide, it is guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. It takes us to the crossroads of Ta Beret and connects with Paum, a red stretch that will lead us back to the Saumet platter lift.
The second suggestion is known as Sanglièr – Wild Boar. A straightforward diagonal descent takes us to the entrance of a snow-filled bottleneck where we are gobbled up by the narrow funnel. Awesome! Watch you don’t get dizzy!
Once you have navigated the narrowest part, ski onwards to meet up with the Torn de Bacivèr and Vista Beret, then turn off at Ta Baqueira and relax... we’ll soon be at “Moet”, oh no, sorry, we meant Orri...
From Orri we follow the Dera Cascada slope, a breath-taking route that winds and snakes as we make our way back home, satisfied and proud of our feats at the end of our Black Safari.
We will ski carefully along the final Dera Cascada stretch, and enjoy the final descent until we reach Baqueira 1.500.
Arrival point: INFO CAFÉ Baqueira 1.800
The time of descent for expert level has been calculated using the following parameter (based on information from the NSAA – National Ski Area Association, USA-):
Speed of skier 670 m/min. for length of slope covered
1 min. rest for every 750 m. of length of slope covered.