mercredi 15 septembre 2010

Port de Salau to Pic des Mulats

Pic de Géu (right) and Mont Rouch (left in the far distance)

This was the planned route for today. There are only a few peaks and sections of the skyline here which remain unclimbed by me and the frontier ridge after Pic de Géu towards Mont Rouch has been long overdue for a visit.

Ben and I left at a reasonable hour this morning but in separate cars as Ben was heading home after the walk. Somehow we got our wires crossed: I thought he was going to wait at Kercabanac where I'd pick him up and we'd continue in my car. In fact he stopped at Castet d'Aleu. I drove past without seeing him or him seeing me, and when I got to Kercabanac and he wasn't there I assumed he'd headed on to Salau and the start of the walk. Of course he wasn't there and after much to-ing and fro-ing and driving around trying to find each other we eventually met up but started the walk later than we had planned from Alun and Breezy's place.

We made the Port de Salau 2087m in a little under 2 hours for the 1100m of ascent but I felt very hot in the sun and unusually weak. As we progressed along the narrow grassy ridge over the succession of peaks to Pic de Géu 2499m (this section I had done before) I began to feel weaker still and decidedly ill. We pressed on but I was getting slower and by Tuc de Bassibie 2524m I was feeling weak and pretty sure I was going to vomit imminently.
View from the ridge to Alos d'Isil in spain and the Encantados beyond

There remained only two more peaks and the best (narrowist) part of the ridge to do. Although Ben offered to descend with me I could see he was itching to continue. This was the second mountain trip in a row I'd had to "bail out of" so after a quick discussion we agreed that I'd descend and Ben would continue to finish the ridge.

I didn't want to return the same way (that would've been the 4th time on this ridge!) but quickly found a short down climb to the north and picked a very steep and sometimes precarious route down through the cliffs to the coombe of Lauzeron. I headed for a little cabin marked as ruined on the map but in fact in excellent condition.High on the mountain a slip on some damp gispet (a notoriously slippery grass) nearly spelled disaster but I managed to stop the slide snapping my walking pole in the process.
From the cabin I found a path down through the woods and emerged at the Cascade de Bégé.
I called in on Alun and Breezy (the agreed rendezvous with Ben) looking at their latest progress with the renovation of their barn/home and visiting their new tree platform. I still felt pretty nausious and tired. Ben arrived a couple of hours later. He said the last section of ridge was probably the best knife edge he'd ever climbed - better than the stuff he's done in the Pennine Alps and on better rock...Grrr, return visits to the this ridge and Mail de Bulard North ridge are now being booked into the diary.
Looking back from Pic des Mulats over the last section of the ridge

2 commentaires :

imunain a dit…

Great walk & still great weather. A long time ago I climbed Tuc de Geu from Bonabe (Alos d'Isil).

Alun a dit…

Hi Lee
Good to see you and catch up. Will be in touch to get a date for dinner next week.
Al & Breezy