Port de Canto

This pass is a demonstration, that popular cycling passes do not necessarily have to be the steepest, or lead through the most vertical and surrealistic rock scenery known to cyclists. In spite of the fact of its relatively high elevation, Port de Canto is quite the opposite. Maybe it's this special position that makes out its charm. It is a smooth, modern road, but with little traffic, along a big breadloaf in the sky, overlooking what looks like a big green paradise from up here.

I have used the pictures of panoramio and flickr contributors, as well as other web sites to illustrate this page. There are copyright notices and links  to all original pictures. My own pictures were on a computer, that was stolen at the train station Frankfurt Airport (model Acer Aspire One (serial# NUSGPAA01625101C947600F)


1.(00.0km,0650m)START-END EAST: Adrall
2.(14.5km,1320m)jct with dirt road coming down from Pic d'Orri
3.(19.1km,1570m)Port de Canto veiwpoint
4.(25.6km,1725m)TOP: Port de Canto
5.(34.3km,1300m)turnoff to Tornafort on right
6.(44.8km,700m)START-END WEST: Sort


From East.
After leaving behind the majority Porsches and Lamborghinis - with origin Andorra, in the valley, the route to Port/Collado de Canto starts with its steepest part of the climb. The first villages consist of only a handful of houses. But the road manages to squeeze a way between them, as if there was a dire shortage of building space, and up here on this great bread loaf of a mountain, there is really plenty of it. There are nice views of the canyon that the Rio Segre, and with it the N145 heading south, breaks through. However all the switchbacks up to Collado d'Arnat are hidden from view. There is a stone quarry in the way.

After a good workout, and the junction with an unpaved route down from Pic d'Orri s(u), the road levels out, even drops a bit. At this point the road makes a big detour to the south, by contouring along a big gentle forested nose of a landform, the Serrat de Carla. The rest is soon forgottoin, andt he climbing resumes. There are only two minor additional switchbacks to take your mind off the road. It is such a workout, that the viewpoint at point 3, is a great break, and a scenic relief too. This is the best scenery view along the way, in my opinion. To the south and west lies a big gentle forested valley dominated by pillow like landforms. Only if snow adorns the higher ridges, do they take on a foreshortened harder look.

After relaxing a while and then leaving this remote parking lot view point, I am wondering if this was not actually the summit. While the profile shows the road climbing gently from here, in truth the road does sometimes go downhill for short sections along this long gentle traverse, that seems like it goes along a forested breadloaf in the sky. The pass itself is very apparent. as I approach it in a straight line, a gentle gap between two rounded knolls.

Copyright: Panoramio Contributor     Cris David     piclink

 Rubio          copyright: zakarina2312 (Panoramio)  piclink

From West. There are few hill settlements on this side, but mostly the villages are more modern vacation businesses. There are one or two exceptons, and one of them looks quite spectacular, the village Tornafort at almost 1300 meters height. located on the other side of a wide valley. I can see from the pictures on Panoramio, that many others have been impressed by this view as much as me, and that they had better light than I did.

The descend into Sort is the final celebration of the day. A total of 4 big switchbacks are connected by long curving ramps, that are a fast roll. I stop many times and enjoy the various vantage points on Sort. The mountains behind the town reach 2676meter: Pico de Llena, and 2894m, Pico del Paso.

A Dayride with this point as highest summit:

( < Collado de la Trava | La Paquera s(u) > )

Collado de Canto x2: La Seu Durgel <> Pallerois <> Collado del Canto <> Soriguera <> turnaround point just beyond Puigformiu
Notes: the only unpaved part is before the turnaround point, while looking for good picture points onto Tornafort, which was also the best part of the whole ride

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Pic de l'Orri s(u)

Copyright: Panoramio Contributor:   Jasper Fidder    piclink

Copyright: Panoramio Contributor:      Maximilian Jaenicke   piclink