PIC DE CASAMANYA
Contributed by David Sellars
Location: East of Ordino
Round trip: 7 km
Start elevation: 1980 m
Final Elevation: 2740 m
Maps: 1:40,000 Andorra, Editorial Alpina
From Ordino or Canillo take the paved road to Coll d’Ordino at the top of the pass. There is limited parking
PARTIAL PLANT LIST
In the centre of Andorra, the limestone peak of Pic de Casamanya can be ascended by a easy walk along a broad grassy ridge on a paved road where it crosses the ridge at Coll d’Ordino. The trail starts in an open pine wood with Hepatica nobilis just starting into flower along the trail (late June). Emerging from the trees the trail climbs the broad ridge with occasional rock bands that are easily climbed. At the first major rock outcrop at 2300 m, Saxifraga media grows prolifically in crevices. There are also beautiful specimens of Daphne cneorum var pygmaea clinging to cracks in the limestone. A common rock garden plant, Iberis sempervirens grows on the ridge which is native to the Mediterranean area. The limestone bedrock and proximity of Andorra to the Mediterranean must provide the right conditions for this Candytuft.
We also spotted another Mediterranean species on the ridge, Paronychia capitata which is a mat forming plant with attractive, grey foliage and numerous showy silver bracts enclosing the tiny, inconspicuous flowers.
Just below the summit, a lovely field of blue Myosotis alpestris, provides a foreground to the extensive views to the north. The summit at 2740 m is rocky and a good place to explore for plants. We found a lovely lilac Candytuft, Iberis aurosica growing in coarse scree together with another member of the Cress family, pure white Hutchinsia alpina. Silene acaulis and Saxifraga exarata were abundant at this elevation