jeudi 6 décembre 2018

Tuc de Bignau 2385m

With a day free and the weather forecast wonderful (19 degrees) another walk was in order. We headed for the Col de Pause but the winter restrictions on access are in force we decided to be cautious and park at Laserre (after our friend was fined for parking at the Col) this added another 40 minutes in each direction to our walk.  From the Col we headed up towards the Port d'Aula passing the Cabin d'Areau and the adjacent lake which is already frozen.

The sun was warm and after a quick bite to eat we continued past the automatic weather station where are objective came into view.

Port d'Aula

Things got a bit cooler now with a breeze blowing through the Port d'Aula. We headed for the col to the south of the Tuc de Bignau and the snow was soon very hard and put on our crampons.

 Tuc de Bignau

It was Susie's first time on moderately steep terrain (25 - 30 degrees) in crampons but she marched in pieds en canard and made the col in single push.

Reaching the Col

Great views from the col across Spain and in either direction along the chain and then a short steep rocky ridge to finish.

 Summit at last

After a second lunch on the summit it was time to continue along the ridge then find a way down on loose shattered rock to the Port d'Aula. An easy descent from here back to the car in a couple of hours.

The scrappy descent to the Port d'Aula

It was only meant to be a short walk but after having to park at Laserre it ended up being 5 hours 30 minutes and about 1250m (4100ft) of ascent. A magical sunset ended the day.

samedi 24 novembre 2018

Spent the last few days building the new website for next years contemporary dance residential course 7 - 14 April 2019. Check it out!

samedi 17 novembre 2018


Our car passed it's controle technique (MOT) without too much work to do, so to celebrate we went for an afternoon stroll up Freychet at Guzet Neige - interesting to walk the black pistes.

Cranes on their migration from Scandinavia to Spain.

lundi 12 novembre 2018

Tuc de la Serbe, sommet de Peyre Blanc from Col de la Core

A little tour from Col de la Core with Sheri.Unsure of conditions we were carrying crampons, an ice axe and snowshoes, none of which we ended up using. The snow was firm in the morning but by afternoon we were post-holing up to our knees sometimes. 

The Etang dèEychelle was still mostly frozen despite the balmy weather and south winds. Scars from people throwing stones in probably, had frozen over to make some strange patterns. We had lunch at the cabin before climbing westwards to make the ridge close to point 2256m.

From there we followed the ridge northwards over the succession of easy tops ending with Tuc de la Seube, finally descending to Col Auèdole and then following GR10 to regain our path of ascent from Col de la Core. Only about 1100m of ascent but a surprisingly tiring day!

Tuc de la Messe (left) and the ridge of peaks between Col de la Crouzette and Tuc de Seube (right)

The autumn colours in the valleys

Looking West

jeudi 1 novembre 2018

Cour Vic

After the recent snows a trip was hurriedly put together to go play. Sheri plus our neighbours, Sandrine, Sophie and Nanou joined us for a stomp from the Col de Pause up to the Cabane d'Areou and across to Cour Vic for lunch opposite Mont Valier. A fun descent of the couloir below allowed us to use the snowshoes we'd been carrying all day.

First snows

At the cabane d'Areou

Etang d'Areou looking very green


Reflection with bird

Sheri, Susie and Sandrine below Cour Vic

Nanou and I


The hills are alive with the sound of music

Cave under the nevés on the Cuns d'Aula

More nevés

Telephoto shot of solitary isard

Cloud magic from the summit looking back towards home

Getting ready for the snowshoe descent

Descending the couloir...a great ski when there's more snow