A Nativity in Aubenç

Last December 12th, 47 people from different parts of Catalonia, and even some from France, hiked the route from the house of La Ribalera and Espluga de las Vacas up to Masies de Nargó, through the Picalt Roig, the Channel of La Jaca, the House of Aubenç and down the north face of Aubenç.

In the house of Aubenç, friends from Igualada, -as usual- presented us with a wonderful rice dish and more.

Once we got our strength back from such a wonderful lunch, we all went together to set up the Nativity and sing some carols. The Nativity was a gift from the school of La Vall and the artist was the arquitect Imma Farrús. The Nativity was secured to the floor -with the making of a good mortar- by Josep Maria Vila, of Lleida.

The largest group came from the school of La Vall: many families with their children, accompanied by friends.

We left Oliana at 10:30 am. At 11:15 am we reached the house of La Ribalera, at 11:45 am, Espluga de las Vacas, at 12:20 pm, Picalt Roig, at 14.00 pm we had passed the Channel of La Jaça, and at 14.30 pm we were in the House of Aubenç.

After lunch, we set up the Nativity and sang carols, and at 4 pm we went down to Les Masies de Nargó arriving before nightfall.

We went down by the old roads through the forests of the north face of Aubenç, reaching Les Masies de Nargó at approximately 6:30 pm, after darkness had fallen.

The total route was about 12 km, with a vertical rise and fall of 550 meters and 890 meters respectively, and we walked it in about 6 hours.

At the end of the walk, people expressed their satisfaction in different ways, as you can see in the comments of the videos attached.

We add a few words of Antonio Dalmases -one of the expeditionaries of 1937- that show in some way his impressions on the climb to the Channel of La Jaça in Aubenç the night of November 28, 1937.

In his diary he wrote that day:

We cannot stop as it is getting dark, and we are at the foot of the cliff we have to climb and it must be done with light, because without it we would kill ourselves in the attempt. Its height is huge and from its foot, where we are now, it seems impossible to climb. We went quickly to circle around the side and attack it from the front, clinging to the rocks. We no longer walk, but we crawl. The climb is slow and excruciating, crawling glued to the rock so as not to fall over. More than ever I feel the weight of my backpack pulling me towards the abyss. We stop many times to rest and we do so half lying on the rock, face to the sky and to the mountains painted in the distance. We are going up again, this track is almost vertical. It seems we are never going to arrive. There is already very little light and the climb becomes even more painful and difficult. I am horrified thinking what would happen if I slip just a little, I would surely die. We sweat profusely and in our desire to cling to the ledges of the rocks we spare nothing, destroying our hands in the process.

Finally after one hour and fifteen minutes, that seems like a century, we reach the top, and can do nothing but lie on the ground. […] The last ones continue arriving after us and they lie on the ground as well. Despite the darkness, the panorama we see is great. We can see half of Catalonia. This is a unique viewpoint. […]

We started marching after nightfall, always towards the north. We are now on fields of gently undulating grass which relieve our feet. The guide spreads the word and it passes from one to another silently, to raise the sticks and not to speak, because we are passing near a house [the house of Aubenç].