Sector: La Coma
UPDATE: Remodelled & reclassified from blue to green in winter 2009/10.
Similar to the nearby La Coma
, and starting from the same uppermost Les Portelles link area, but taking a sweeping line widest out to the skier's left under the impressive ring of peaks bounding this wide upper snowbowl.
provides an enjoyable cruise for novices, and its banked bends offer a fun diversion for more capable riders. It is also the route to a little-known feature that will appeal to visitors of all abilities: an ice cave!
Túnel del Rat
After the upper section of El Túnel reaches the far side of the snowbowl, it swings down to the skier's right on a markedly steeper pitch (between piste-markers 7 & 6) before running onto a long flat mid-section straight.
Slow down and stop safely off the skier's left-hand side of the piste here at the bottom of this steep pitch.
An abandoned road-tunnel project planned between Andorra and France cuts deep into the base of the cliffs here, and it is worth a visit to view the forest of ice stalactites and stalagmites which festoons its interior. The icicles are most spectacular when viewed from inside, with daylight from the tunnel mouth behind them. Take your skis or board off to scramble carefully inside over the snowdrift partially blocking the entrance, exercising caution when walking on the tunnel floor because it is often covered by a sheet of sheer ice.
Past the tunnel, you have to hike or skate along the flat mid-section of El Túnel
before you reach any useful gradient to be able to pick up momentum again.
The lower section of El Túnel
is joined first by the ECOA
and then by La Coma
, both of which merge in from the skier's right; the wide confluence area with La Coma
is also where Els Orris
begins. These pistes then run side-by-side out into the gentle snowfields either side of the short Els Orris button tow, towards this sector's restaurants building
and the nearby chairlifts: ride out to the skier's left of the button tow for the best link to the restaurant.