dimanche 8 octobre 2006

Pica d'estats

Weather forecast for today was good so decided to climb Pic Mauberme. Alarm woke me at 6.00 and I changed my mind and decided to climb Pic d'estats instead. At 3143m (about 10,200ft)its the highest mountain in the Ariege (and Catalonia). Its about 1hr20mins drive away and is usually climbed in two days as there's 2000m of ascent, but an early start and good weather made for rapid progress (4hr30min to the top). Its a fantastic route with ever changing scenery and views. Despite the hot sun much of the rock was still covered with verglas (thin ice) in the morning and all the water was frozen. Some snow on the summit added to the atmosphere. The views were breathtaking and crystal clear in all directions.

The descent was long and the legs were complaining a bit at the end. I'd also taken clothing for colder weather (thinking it would be cold at 10,200ft) but it was a scorcher so long trousers and a helly ensured I was hot and bothered. The crystal clear waters of the numerous lakes was tempting - but the ice floating in them put me off.

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