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Buerba - Vio(sh)

These two approaches are often considered options to ride up the east side of Alto de Fanlo s(u). Putting them together in a single shoulder summit loop is a concentrated scenery experience. You could not pack any more of it into 32 km. I spent more time stopped taking pictures than actually bicycling. This entire route is inside the Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido.

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,0610m)START-END EAST-1: small road to Canyon Anisclo leaves A138, just north of Escalona
2.(01.8km,0620m)jct with road from Buerba
3.(15.0km,1000m)jct with road from Fanlo; profile turns hard left
5.(19.4km,1150m)Buerba is on the right; and an unpaved turnoff to Vio shortly afterwards on left
6.(31.3km,0620m)START-END EAST-2: same as point 2


From East -1.
There is no evidence of the slot canyon that this road will enter at the inconspicuous traffic circle north of Escalona. On a weekday in May I see quite a few bikes, and a couple of dozen of cars inside the canyon. The bikes are all mountain bikes. The road surface is very rough. Actually it is amazing that this road is paved at all, even by European standards, where virtually everything is paved. The one way road starts at the jct with the return of the profile at point 2.

The road enters a slot canyon. For a while the snow capped mountains, east of the Rio Cinco appear framed by a very large open door frame. The road stays very close to the bottom of the canyon. Large alcoves are required to accommodate the one way traffic moving at cycling speed. Somewhere close to the middle of the canyon, the road traverses a short tunnel in combination with several alcoves. I take advantage of being able to stop my bike at whatever place I choose, and get a few pictures that are not so obvious to drivers. The subject is the tunnel portal from some distance with various different pieces of road and alcoves leading towards it. These are about the only motives that I remember, which I cannot find on the web.

Copyright: Panoramio contributor  ET piclink  

At the point where the road starts to climb out of the canyon is a major trailhead and also a parking chaos.  In comparison the road is actually very devoid of moving vehicles. This is the end of the one-way section. With a few ramps and switchbacks the road climbs to the junction with the road coming down from Fanlo. It starts to give the first hints of what this all will look like from further up.

At this jct I meet a mountain biker from Canada. He is following a Transpyrenean MTB route, and is towing a trailer with a dog in it. Both of them look pretty tired, but I think the dog looks even more tired. We talk a while and I ask him, what the special difficulties are, doing this trail route with his dog. They are things that I wouldn't have thought about, because of my lack of experience in anything remotely approaching this. For one thing it's the water for the dog and how to 1. either carry it up the hill or 2. make him drink it at the bottom of the hill. Going up hill on trails, both man and dog walk, and that is a lot easier if the dog is carrying the water in his stomach. He is doing something very unique, and he is often surrounded by curious people. He gets many invitations. But our routes only cross here. He is going down the Canyon Anisclo in the wrong direction, and I keep climbing towards Buerba.

After the road leaves the Canyon Anisclo, the Rio Bellos makes a 90 degree turn to the north and carves an even deeper slot canyon, which is reserved for hikers. From the climbing road the vista becomes more and more clear. It appears to be an overturned rock fold along which the Rio Bellos found the week spot to carve its canyon. The folded and overturned rock formations is the kind of sight, that structural geologists love, and makes them pull out their Brunton Compass in anticipation of measuring some strike and slip angles.

      copyright: Quaedich.de contributor
 ritchie   piclink  pagelink

I too take many pictures of this grandiose scene, and this just may be the most photographed mountain scene in Spain. I picked a few favorites from the web, most of which have better light than I do, during the two separate times I visit this scene. The rustic road keeps climbing and the summit seems to be waiting behind every wave in the road and after the very next vantage point onto the canyon. I seem to remember several false summits before I get to the real one.

From East-2. Vio is another heavily photgraphed spot, and deservedly so. It can be reached by a dirt turnoff from the summit. The paved road passes by a small collection of houses around a church tower, named Buerba. There is a hostal and restaurant here, but no grocery store.

The vegetation here consists of low bushes and loosely spaced needle trees, giving off a fairy dry appearance, and the name Sierra Seca verifies this impression. The road contours around these low ridges, near their top, in the background three white monoliths, with a constantly shifting foreground. Here I take more pictures, which are not on any of the photo sharing sites. It is just easier for cyclists to stop here, than for cars. For the final descend the road stays on the east side of the wide valley carved by the Rio Cinca. The road winds around one last village perched on a cliff below, that doesn't seem to be labeled on my maps. On the opposite side Laspuna forms a line of houses between a cliff below and a rock ridge behind. The profile meets the starting approach, so that it returns to the roundabout norh of Escalona.



Pictures below : Canyon de Anisclo
cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( < Puerto de Cotefablo | Los Molinos s(u) > )
Buerba -Vio (sh) , addtional out and back : Ainsa > A138 north > up Canyon de Anisclo <> out and back to Fanlo >> Vio Buerba s(u) > A138 back to Ainsa
Notes: gps data is on stolen computer.

A Day on a Tour with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Puerto de Cotefablo
Pictures: Between Canyon de Anisclo and East-2 start point
cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow