Trail Molas de Castellona and Moro from Col de Vicari

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A fantastic circuit trail in surreal scenery – a mix of improbable rocky spires and black pine woodland with two molas.
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Location of Start - 40.808005, 0.348562
Distance - 10km.
Ascent - 710m.
Walking time and total completion time including any stops -  3.5/5.5hrs.
Start point - From the C12 in Tortosa take the T-341 west from Tortosa through Roquetes in the direction of Els Reguers and Alfara De Carles. 2 Km from Roquetes turn L at a junction onto the road signposted for Caro. Follow for 20km. Take the left turn which climbs up to Mt Caro and in a gap in the zig-zags that climb up arrive at an open col. This is the Col de Vicari. Park at the roadside here.

 From your parking spot walk across the road to a small sign board and down the path that starts here. (SE)Follow this down in zig-zags to arrive at a finger post and junction where you continue ahead in the direction not indicated by the finger post! 460m, 9min 
 Continue on this following occasional red paint flashes around 2 large barrancos and generally gently descending until you arrive at a broad grassy col where there is a small metal signpost fixed to the ground (about 30cm across) and a rock wall in front of you.  2.6km, 53min
 Here continue straight ahead to scramble up a crack (about 3/4m high) in the rock directly behind the largest pine tree and emerge on a small plateau.Move slightly R to continue and descend down to a second grassy co  2.9km, 59min
 where you keep to the R flank of the hill to go around some rocky obstacles on the ridge line (L) and once past these amble gently up L to reach the grassy ridge line (evidence of fire damage here along with Ibex sightings!– 2018).  (Here you commence the optional ascent of Mola Castellona and will return soon!)  3.3km, 1hr 6min
 Now cross to the L side of the ridge line on a clear but thin path and push up through box bushes to soon arrive at the summit of this imposing Mola with fantastic views all around (and possible vultures above and below you!)  3.5km, 1hr 12min
Retrace your steps back to the bottom of the bushy section and the open burnt grassland and here walk diagonally down to the L aiming for the nearest end of a rock pavement that you can see below you. 3.8km, 1hr 18min
Take care to look out for cairns and red paint marks indicating the start of a thin path doubling back to the L (level) and soon descending gently to move below crags. 3.9km, 1hr 20min
Follow this for only a few hundred metres to find a small metal indicator plate and red painted t-junction sign. Turn sharp right (doubling back) to follow  cairns and  some red paint flashes. 4.1km, 1hr 25min
Follow this line indicated by the red paint which is indistinct to begin with but soon becomes clearer and it descends gently aiming for a natural ramp descending leftwards.Pass below a fantastic overhang and take care to look for cairns and paint flashes to guide you down and reach the first of 2 barrancos.  (red paint flashes and occasional cairns all the way down) 4.8km, 1hr 40min
Here turn L along an indistinct line across rock which soon becomes clearer again and swings R to cross the second barranco. 4.9km, 1hr 43min
Now climb up the other side still taking care to hunt out the correct line which sometimes pushes through overgrown box bushes.Pass over a rocky promontory viewpoint and descend to round an impossible looking barranco blocked above by an immense hanging boulder.  Passing this to the L turns out to be quite straightforward and you soon work gently up along this flank to arrive at a col directly below the second Mola. 5.8km, 2hr 4min
Reaching this second Mola requires good scrambling skills.
From the col turn slightly L and pass to the R of rocky blocks to reach a small plateau that leads you to a neck of land reaching out to the second Mola. (de Moro)To reach this you must scramble awkwardly up a crack that leads L.  Bear in mind that climbing this is considerably easier than descending it so if any doubt give up now!! Descending the exposed crack with a rucksac can be extremely awkward as it is best at least part way down to be facing the rock and executing a turn without having your rucksac toss you off the mountains as you turn around. Once at the top of the crack a short walk leads to the summit marked with a cairn and then a short descent leads to the far edge on the Mola.
 6km, 2hr 9min
 Retrace your steps to the col and continue ahead up the ridge line. (signed Basis de Caro)This trends L and then turns steeply uphill into a partly grassy and scree gully. (still with red paint flashes and cairns)Before reaching the top of this turn towards the L to pass under crags and now continueahead on this fabulous path in and out of stupendous rock scenery  6.7km, 2hr 21min
 After passing around several spurs work down to the bottom of a barranco where the path veers right to climb steeply up to the Bassis de Caro – a couple of hollowed tree trunks with a reliable and steady flow of water.  8.1km, 2hr 56min
Here again there is a small metal sign and we turn R to start ascending.Continue to another junction with metal plate and sign board and turn R.Reach the junction with your outgoing path and turn L still ascending but now with only 510m to go.Arrive at the road and your parked car. 9.2km, 3hr 24min
Last Updated: 14 August, 2020
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