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LA CAPA PISTE & FREERIDE AREA

Sector:  Arinsal
The imposing pyramidal peak of Pic Alt de la Capa, which towers over Arinsal's upper snowbowl, offers this sector's highest and steepest slopes.

The uppermost lift-accessible point is reached via the steep La Capa button tow, although this is seldom open because high winds often strafe across these exposed heights. Fresh snowfalls are thus frequently blown off as soon the weather clears, leaving the face of Pic Alt de la Capa bare and inaccessible. However, when conditions are right, these slopes offer Arinsal's most thrilling rides and the feeling of having truly conquered the mountain.

One tried and tested route (‘La Capa’) is marked on the Vallnord piste map, but the slopes are never groomed and this whole area is designated as a ‘FreeRide Area’; allowing riders to experience the buzz of off-piste conditions without having to stray from the patrolled ski area.

This is also a great place to build cheese-wedge ramps, to launch off for some seriously big air when the snow depth provides for a safe landing zone. Put your best posing head on though, because everyone on the nearby lifts and over at the Xina Igloo bar/restaurant terrace will be watching; but you probably knew that!

To access the FreeRide Area, take La Capa button tow from the Port Negre ridge; or, if that lift is closed, simply traverse as high as you can across the face of Pic Alt de la Capa beyond the main La Pala piste. Once on the face, the most technical route is achieved by riding furthest out to the skier's right, with a couple of rocky outcrops to negotiate before running out on to the Port Vell & Margarida pistes and/or La Tossa piste. These will take you to the Port Negre chairlift and towards the Comallempla 1950 base level, via the MexicObelix bar/restaurant area.

OFF-PISTE ACCESS

Towards Pal
The far side of Pic Alt del la Capa, facing Pal, is out-of-bounds.
Warning signs declare it ‘Off-Piste’ past the ridge-line fence which marks the ski area boundary: it looks inviting, and appears to provide a rideable link route to Pal's Coll de la Botella area, but please note that the fence and warning signs are there for a good reason; this south-facing side of the mountain is in the full glare of the sun for most of the day and the snowpack is therefore very unstable.

Only ever consider tackling this off-piste descent accompanied by a fully qualified local mountain guide.
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