vendredi 26 août 2016

No posts for a couple of weeks as we've been busy, busy, busy - packing, selling and generally organising our departure from the UK.   This old sheep trailer which I bought on ebay has also been occupying my time as it needed complete rebuilding. It now has new axles, brakes and coupling, so should get our stuff down to France safely.

Back on Monday for some trekking with Susie, Jasper and Ruby in the Ordesa canyons, then a final return to the UK to take Ruby to University before we leave for good!!

lundi 8 août 2016

Pointe de Rabasere

There's been a lot of field and potager clearing going on over the past few days and some new fruit bushes planted. The chicken house is being redeployed closer to the house with a new run an earlier priority on out return. 

The weather remains hot and sunny.

On Saturday we set off on a walk to Pointe de Rabasere (2568m) from Gerac above Guzet. After descending the ladders and crossing the outflow from the first lake, we followed the path which climbs and then crosses the ridge above the lake, before descending towards the Etang de la Hillette.

The first path of the descending path is narrow and exposed

Above the Etang de la Hillette

After losing a lot of height we eventually joined the path leading to the Port de Couillac and the Spanish frontier for lunch.

 One of several small lakes before the Port

There are lovely views from the Port into Spain and towards the mountains around Pica d'Estats and Certescan. We watched a short-toed eagle (snake eagle) soaring and hovering over hillsides.

View from the summit

A short steep climb put us on the tiny summit of Pointe de Rabassere. From here we had to head north to small col from where one can pick up a path heading to the Etand de Reglisse. Susie didn't fancy the ecposed ridge so we descended and then traversed but ended up a little too low and had to reclimb the ridge a little - annoying on a hot afternoon in pathless terrain! Some care was needed to follow the cairns and old red markers on the descent but eventually we were down and soaking our feet in the lake.

Etand de Reglisse

From here a good path back to Gerac. 1350m of ascent.

mercredi 3 août 2016

Coth des Arenesi

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