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simon3
2013-07-30 09:54:50
"From S Ordesa valley: snow, waterfall and Breche de Rolande" from simon3 Expand pics
From S Ordesa valley: snow, waterfall and Breche de Rolande (Expand pics)
A Pyrenees Trip.
The Spanish side of the Pyrenees was the venue for an eleven day walking tour starting on 8th July 2013. It was arranged for a group of Irish Ramblers by Pyrenean Group Holidays aka Malcolm and Ann and coordinated by John O’Connor, a member of the Irish Ramblers Club.
The tour took in a series of classic point to point walks in an approximately anti clockwise circle starting from Gavarnie in France and ending in Bagnères de Luchon also in France. However most of the walking was in Spain. Many of the routes used were local classics however our guide also took us via seldom used routes, almost experimental at times.
Weather hugely affected this tour. When Ireland got heavy rain this winter the Pyrenees got huge amounts of snow that lingered on the high ground. Around Tues 18th June there were disastrous floods on both sides of the border in the high Pyrenees. To the locals this brought disastrous flooding, property destroyed and evacuations. (See http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/06/18/inenglish/1371580872_854896.html ) To us as visitors three weeks later it brought sights of destroyed roads, bridges, buildings with changes to daily routes and destinations and even an unplanned river crossing. We weren’t able to go over some cols because of snow and we could not use some accommodation because of closures. We were hugely grateful for having arranged the trip through a flexible local company. The only silver linings were that there were few other tourists competing for resources and plenty of anxious to please hotel owners.
The complete tour is recorded as a series of GPS tracks on the site. (Search for Pyrenees 2013 in mountainviews.ie/track/report/). As well as the GPS tracks and statistics there are comments on the magnificent flowers (Asphodels look like giant bog cotton from a distance), the panoramas, the day we got caught out on a snowfield at 2600m in sudden lightning and thunder. A few of the tracks show odd distortions such as sudden apparent changes of position. These occurred mainly when the GPS was struggling to find position in canyons – in time we will endeavour to find ways of filtering out such aberrations which are less common in Ireland.
The experience of walking some eleven days out of thirteen albeit ending each day in good accommodation is tough but exhilarating if a bit lacking in cultural context. Every day brings different sorts of views. Sometimes the formal granite landscape of the Posets, sometimes calcareous uplands with crazy cliffs such as at Ordesa, sometimes riotous flower shows, sometimes long stretches in the semi-managed woods. Mostly the walking is necessarily on existing paths such as the GR 11 and other local tracks so in that respect it is easier than typical walking in Ireland with its bogs, cold, winds and rain. For the record we walked around 190km, climbed 8850m, averaging 18.2km/ day with 804m climbing.
For much of the time that we were there the weather had a daily pattern. Bright blues skies from sunrise until around ten or eleven followed by gradually increasing cloud and finally thunderstorms with hail, rain and lightning around 16:00.
Much of the walking is in national parks. The Spanish ones were somewhat more restrictive with little camping, no hang-gliding, MTB etc little in fact other than walking. This suited us though the occasional outburst of excessive restrictive signage was off-putting. In contrast on the French side and not in a park near Bagnères de Luchon there were ski-lifts, paragliding and conventional gliders. The MTB fraternity (VTT) used the ski-lifts to do the heavy work before what must be an exciting 1200m descent. Youth is wasted on the young.
River crossing.
In avoiding a frozen pass we came down on a little used path above Es Bòrdes. We were relieved to have found a route at all during a descent through trees since although shown on some maps the path must have been 100 years in decay. Just when we thought we were in the clear we reached the bottom and found the river had changed course slicing through a short stretch of road leading to civilisation. We forded it. You can read all about it at http://mountainviews.ie/track/2250/


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Summit Comment
Rosgalliv Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
For the Mountain View members who will be joining Liz50 for her walk on 7/10/17 why not get there a few minutes earlier in order to visit this small hill with its Megalithic Tomb . Parking is avai...

  
Summit Comment
Rostoohy Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
The summit area with its hill fort and views across the bay.

  
Track
Spanish Sierra Nevada: Mulahacen
Onzy 4 days ago.
Route to Mulahacen from Alto del Chorillo returning on a lower track to the west. Route takes in both Mulahacen I and I walk, Len: 12.7km, Climb: 782m, Area: Unid, Unid ()

Track
Lanigans Ball and the Slieve Mish Mountains
GSheehy 4 days ago.
?What in the name of Jaysus are you on about with your ?Lanigan?s Ball??? ?This is hillwalking lad. Not danc walk, Len: 27.3km, Climb: 1557m, Area: Caherbla, Slieve Mish (Ireland) Caherb

  
Forum: General
in yer pants ....
BleckCra 3 days ago.
I turn my attention to mountainviews.ie. So much for focus.I see that its English translation of Irish hill names remains - and in remaining, (for the Mountains of Mourne at least) .... , remains ...

  
Summit Comment
Rostoohy Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
Parking where appropriate make your way the short distance along the foreshore to L9531390160 where ascent to the hill exists as shown in the photo. You will encounter a small stone drinking well ...

Track
Le Taillon via la Brèche de Roland
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 16.1km, Climb: 1013m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Gubacarrigan: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
Your options for parking are numerous but a lay-by is located at L7648192513. It only takes a few minutes to reach the cliff edge and on to the summit but as evident from the tracts along the edge...

  
Forum: Suggestions
Change to Local 100
simon3 3 days ago.
The Local 100 list and completing it is one of the most popular lists that MV has. It allows the time-poor to get out and do some interesting hillwalking but with minimal travel time. It encourage...

Summit Comment
Claggan Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
Although the trig is clearly visible from where i parked for Roscahill a double fence lies in wait from there. Easy access is via the field gate located at L9409289344 with ample parking 50 meters...

  
Forum: General
Go easy on Gates
melohara a week ago.
Please be conscious of damage that may be caused to farm gates when climbing over them. I recently met a very friendly and hospitable farmer who welcomed my rambling over his hills despite him hav...

  
Track
The Black Mare Gulley (Coumloughra)
Bunsen7 a week ago.
This route goes up the gulley at the head of Coumloughra known as the Black Mare. You clamber out at a small pile of ... walk, Len: 11.9km, Climb: 1022m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (I


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 24 Next page >>