mercredi 3 août 2016

Day trip to the Maladetta

After some initial running around to sort out some unexpected discoveries on Jean-Christophe Chadafeau's new house which is now underway (or at least the demolition of the old one is) Susie and I decided to get out into the mountains.


After some very hot weather Monday was cloudy, but Meteo France promised good weather Tuesday so we set off at 6.30am for Artiga de Lin just over the border in Spain towards the Val d'Aran. It was raining with heavy low clouds the whole way and we were beginning to doubt the weather, but once in Spain things looked a little brighter and the rain stopped. Last time I was here was maybe 15 years ago. Then you could drive to the end of the road (only on that occasion the road was blocked by a huge avalanche, the scars of which are still evident). Now you must park some miles from the end of the road at (1220m) and walk the rest of the way steeply uphill - an unexpected additional to our planned walk. From the end of the road we climbed up towards the cloud heading for the Coll de Toro (2235m) passing through a meadow full of thistles, many bright blue and marmots.




The valley appears to be walled in on all sides but somehow a path finds a way through the steep walls, protected by cables. As we climbed higher we slowly emerged above the clouds and into the sun.


Susie bottom right

Eventually we arrived at the col and the Lac deth Coth deth Horo with superb views towards the Maladetta glacier and peaks (though Aneto is hidden behind the Tuca de Aiguallut from here).


I short descent took us to the beautiful valley that wraps around the Eastern side of the Maladetta between the striking forked peak of Forcanada (2885m) and the Alpine wilderness North of Tuc de Molieres (3010m) and Pico Margalida (3244m).


We wound our way slowly upwards past small tarns until a gentle climb along a fault line took us to the Col called Coth des Aranesi (2445m).

Forcanada ahead with the Coth des Arensesi in the foreground.

Tired? No!

The shrinking Maladetta glacier (tiny people visible bottom right amongst the boulders)

Marmot posing at the col, Forcanada behind


The start of the descent

The descent from the col back to Artiga de Lin was steep with a poor slippery path, first down scree then down through overgrown moraines, it seemed never ending and we were glad to finally reach the grassy meadow above the Artiga de Lin though the long walk along the road still remained before we reached our car.

The lake of the Estanhon des Pois where we soaked our feet and watched the fish jump

Looking back at the first part of the descent

After the lake still a long way down to the meadow

Looking back at the ascent of the Col de Toro

2 commentaires :

Penny Walker a dit…

You can park right at the end of the road unless something has changed since we were there in early July? There's masses of parking space up there! Must have been a tedious hike up from that bottom car park :-/

Lee Sharp a dit…

The guy arrived in the little cabin at 9.00 and put the barrier down - parking obligatoire. In the evening when he'd gone home it was up again and people were driving all the way...holiday season I guess.