Pyrenees

Discussion in 'Places & Planning' started by DuncanDo, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

  2. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    I ruled them out as too heavy. I can just about justify 300g for something that may only be used on few occasions but 400g is pushing it too far. The weight of the Vargos makes them v tempting provided up to the situations likely to face in the Pyrenees.
  3. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Each to their own.

    Now.... what routes are being taken :biggrin: ?
  4. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Well, that is the interesting bit! Got to sit down with all three guidebooks and the maps and make a plan asap... I'll have all three guidebooks on my phone whilst there and so anticipate that whatever I come up with now, will change from time to time once I'm on the ground. That was the major attraction of just doing a crossing rather than sticking to one of the routes. <Baldrick voice>: I'll report back once I have a plan...
  5. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    A good resource for those wanting to devise there own high level routes along the Pyrenees border is Eef Berns website Bordermarkers of the Pyrenees, the guy's spent 16 years walking the border photographing the markers & provides a good deal of info on the routes between them.
    Doing a C2C ticking all the markers in a single trip would certainly be some undertaking.
    Max, DuncanDo and edh like this.
  6. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Current thoughts are to start at Bidarray Pont Noblia & end at Latour de Carol, +500km. I’m looking at a ~5 week dawdle with resupply points Aldudes, Lescon, Cauterets, Gedre, Benesque, Tavascan, Arinsal & Puymorens. Not sticking to one ‘route’ but piecing together bits of GR10, GR12, Joosten & Verons HRP, GR7 + some esoteric variations of my own.

    I haven’t decided on a kick-off date, I’ll probably wait until end March & see how much snow there’s been. Will definitely avoid being in Benasque W/E of 21 - 23 July as there's a big mountain race event & the place will be heaving (campgrounds full & noisy)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  7. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I'm working on mine now....probably a Lescun start (unless I flip E-W again) and a finish at Arles-sur-Tech; most likely August...a little dependent on a friend from Colorado who is coming over to join me.

    I plan to stay as high as possible and still be comfortable (with days off and resupply); pretty much mapped a basic route on GPSies - I'll take another look at it on Topopirenios for the more obscure trails that don't make it onto mainstream maps.

    The Bordermarkers site represents a lot of work; must have been fun.
  8. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Now that made me smile edh - I`d have no confidence in alu crampons - the vargo spikes are pretty small but they are Ti at least... I`ve met a few rather upset people with badly bend alu spikes on my travels. Obviously everything is a compromise but I`m not convinced alu is one worth taking to save 200gram IMO.

    I was thinking of a Canfranc (train from Barcelona) start and weaving my way along the border taking passes I haven't been yet and hopefully a summit or two along the way. I hadn`t heard of the Bordermarker site - thanks for that! No idea of dates yet - I need to coordinate with friends about other trips first and await snow levels as I`d rather not take full crampons.
  9. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I've used alloy crampons a fair bit, they have their limitations, and plus points (sic).

    I'd hope to avoid most snow in August.

    I am humming and haahing about the Cilindre de Marbore as an alternate if I can summon courage.

    Have any of you done it... or walked up to it?
  10. Max

    Max Ultralighter

    Thanks @Whiteburn . Seriously considering walking the border, a giant c2c scavenger hunt through the Pyrenees, how cool is that.
    DuncanDo likes this.
  11. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I choose to walk some of the border last year e.g. between Pierre St Martin & Col de Pau, Eef Berns reports were very useful at confirming what was on the ground.
    Currently looking at the section between Port de Barroude & Viados; stays high on the border ridge rather than dropping down to Parzan.
  12. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Whiteburn - you've probably already found philrando - useful for 'filling in'gaps and showing possibilities - this link from when I was looking at something similar.
  13. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Found that one; a bit fractured when planning a through route as it's based around day walks but has some good details noted on the sections that are covered.
  14. Jerry W

    Jerry W Hiker

    I walked the HRP from Hendaye to Banyuls in 2015. That was my fourth visit, I have also walked roughly half of the GR10 and GR11 and a few other bits.. I was intending to go back to the Pyrenees this year and was wondering what to do .. maybe start from Banyuls and go the other way?

    But now some kind soul has posted a link here to that wonderful website Bordermarkers of the Pyrenees, http://www.grpdesbf.nl/index.html and it has set me thinking... after all, the stated objective of both the Veron and Joosten versions of the hrp is to stay as close as reasonably possible to the watershed. But this route, which Mr Berns calls the GRPdesBF, does that far more closely and far more thoroughly than either of them.. I must examine it in more detail but it looks very promising to me as an interesting route

    On the subject of snow, everything depends on the weather between now and May. In 2015 (starting 7 July) I saw practically no snow on the HRP anywhere. In 2013, it was hardly possible to reach even Lescun without crampons and axe (though I did, not very safely) .. Col d'Anaye very snowy, Source Marmitou frozen solid!
  15. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Keep everything crossed for a low snow year...

    Has anyone used these?
    https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.c...-c81/crampons-c83/nordic-micro-crampons-p6545
  16. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I see both the Joosten & Veron routes as a bit of a compromise to the 'stay high' philosophy as they both cater for the folk desiring accommodation & meals, this is reflected not only in the route chosen but also stage lengths. The GR11 has also 'suffered' to some degree over it's life with reroutes to cater for the same type of trekkers.
    Carrying a shelter & your own food obviously opens up a lot more possibilities to stay high, though sometimes it may not always be the quickest route.
    I'm not trying to disparage the 'hut 2 hut' trekkers, if that's what they enjoy fine but it's not for me......perhaps when the old legs finally give out.
  17. Jerry W

    Jerry W Hiker

  18. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    That's exactly the philosophy that caused me to want to do a crossing rather than stick to one of the exact routes.
    edh likes this.
  19. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Day dreaming.......rich sponsor.......heli resupply & only come down at the coast.
  20. Jerry W

    Jerry W Hiker

    A rich sponsor who doesn't care about the environment? Too many helis there as it is ..
  21. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Looking at a border route between Col Des Moines/ Puerto de Jaca (above Astun) & Col du Portalet.
    Anyone been through Col du Portalet & know whether the supermarket there is any good for resupply?
  22. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I went through a few years ago and it was shopping paradise....if you like snacks. I was not looking for resupply at that time but did eat at a good place; it had a stock of foodstuffs - there were a few other places that did the same and a small supermarket which I got some meths equiv at iirc.
    Whiteburn likes this.
  23. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Thanks, good news, a big lunch & a top up of bread, snacks, etc. will probably be all I'll need.
  24. andreostergard

    andreostergard Trail Blazer

    I'm also looking at doing a solo GR11 this year if the time and health permits it.
    I bought Brian Johnson’s The GR11 Trail book by Cicerone (5th ed.) and I've studied that. It's quite in depth but that also means it's a quite tough read at times I find it hard to get a good overview of the trail.

    If I go it'll probably in late July or August.
    DuncanDo likes this.
  25. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I found Brain's book excellent................much better written than the Joosten's HRP guide.

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