dimanche 28 mai 2017

Tuc de Berbégue

After a thuinderstorm yesterday evening some of the humidity cleared so Susie and I headed for the hills. A repeat of a walk I did 7 years ago and one with a bit more exposure than Susie is used to, but she coped no problem. 

From the Col de Pause (1500m) we headed up towards the Port d'Aula but a little after the Etang de Prat Matou we headed left to the little col (2336m) between Tuc de Bignau and Tuc de Berbégue.

As we arrived at the col we were greeted by two bearded vultures.

From here we followed the frontier ridge for about 2-3 km, sometimes narrow and rocky over Tuc de Berbégue (2477m), Cap de Hoque Prégonne (2481m), Pic de Montagnol (2454m) then a steep descent to the Portanech Aurénere (2331m).

On the way we saw some alpine accentors...

...plenty of expansive views...

...and a myriad of alpine flowers.

 From the Portanech we descended a snowy coombe before mounting the ridge to our left to find the Cabane Berbégue.

From here in the far distance we could see the path we needed to follow but as the last time I did this walk no trace of path to get to it. The terrain is complex, often steep and traversed by many gulleys. It took a frustrating hour or so in the 35 degrees of heat to eventually reach it. Looking back we could see a section of zigzags (which bore no resemblance to anything on the map, but no other trace of the path. Once on the path things were easier and after crossing the Col de Courbe, where Susie found a slow worm, we were soon back at the Refuge Forestiere beside the Etang d'Areau.

7 hours including stops for lunch and about 1200m (4000ft) of height gain.

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