La Ripera lies just outside of Panticosa and this week I’ve been investigating a new route in this lovely valley. Found a superb circular walk with great views across the Valle de Tena and to the impressive cliffs at the end of the Valle La Ripera. It’s a perfect walk straight from the hotel door if you’re on a self guided holiday in Panticosa or our Village to Village holiday.
The walk starts at the ski station in Panticosa where you cross this beautiful old bridge that looks a little strange with the chailift crossing above it.
There were quite a few signs of spring around with hepatica out in the woods and quite a few butterflies including several Camberwell Beauties with their rich chocolate brown colour.
I was really surprised to hear my first marmots of the season – seems very early in the year for them but I saw several out and about feeding after their winter hibernation. This area is a geat place to see marmots and there are dozens running around in the summer here.
I came across this impressive line of Pine Processionary Caterpillars on the track. These curious but nasty little critters come down from their nests at about this time of year searching for places to bury into the ground and pupate into moths that hatch later in the summer. The lines they make are great and this one had over a hundred caterpillars in. Unfortunately the caterpillars do a lot of damage to the pine trees which they can strip bare of needles and have barbed hairs that can cause quite extreme allergic reactions in some people.
The headwall at the end of the valley is huge with a cliff face of over 700 vertical metres.
The way back passes through terraced meadows with great views across to the Sierra de Partacua. All in all a superb days walk of around 13km with 500m of ascent.