vendredi 21 juin 2019


The loom is finally threaded and ready for weaving. 

We broke a rear suspension spring on the car but fortunately the part is still available. I made a spring compressor from some old EDF u-bolts and fitted it this morning.

Susie is off to B12 dance festival in Berlin next week. Although she bought tickets and accommodation back in February, we completely forgot to book the flights, which has proved rather expensive....especially as I accidentally bought return tickets from Berlin to Toulouse rather than vice-versa!! "Twat-tax" (the cost of occasionally being an idiot).

lundi 17 juin 2019

Mont Beas ...and bears

A planned day walk with Sherie on Sunday had to be cut short because of a gite changeover, so Mont Beas seemed a suitable trip for a 3 hours excursion. Short steep and a bit airy the route follows the narrow ridge from just below the Col d'Agnes. We had vultures swirling overhead and a carpet of wild flowers below our feet.

Fantastic panoramic views from the summit.  Last time I did this peak I descended to the Col de Dret and made a circuit, this time we had to hurry back so returned by the same route.

Another encounter between a walker and a bear just a few miles from here in the valley Estours. A walker early in the morning came upon a bear cub on GR10 and was charged by its mother. Fearing for his life he turned and ran (not the right thing to do, but very understandable in the circumstances), the bear fortunately stopped and returned to her cub. With about 60 bears in the Pyrénées and about 85% of them in the Ariège and the Val d'Aran, an accident here is probably just a matter of time.

dimanche 2 juin 2019

Quer de la Fourche

An attempt to repeat the trip I made in July 2012, following the Chemin de Liberté from the col de la core, over the Col de Craberous then a return by the Col de Crouzette. It's been very hot the last few days and yet there remains quite a lot of snow in the mountains. Susie and I set off and reached the Cabane de Subera in about 1h30. Previously I'd found the old direct path but climbs straight into Les Clots, but it's over grown as the longer more gradual variant is now signposted. Above Les Clots we reached the snow and heat and progress slowed. It's complicated terrain and without any markers we just headed up on very soft snow and flattened gispet grass.

The corries under Pic de Pomebrunet, Pic de Lampau and Pic de Caries are still full of snow and quite spectacular and the ridge joining the peaks still have some very large cornices waiting to collapse.

At the false col that has to be crossed before the final snowfield we finally got a view of the state of the Col de Craberous and quickly decided that it was still charged with snow and in the heat was too dangerous to climb, another steep snow slope that gains access to Tuc de la Messe was in a similar state so our way forward was barred. We stopped for lunch and soon heard the boom of an avalanche which we watched fall from near the summit of Pic de Pomebrunet, pour down through the cliffs, then slide down the snow slopes below.

Col de Craberous

Lunch spot

We climbed a little higher to look for any other alternatives and stopped close to the pothole of the Grande Glacier du Quer de la Fourche. We climbed the Quer before retracing our route of the morning to the Col de la Core. A long roasting day of nearly 8 hours and 1350m of ascent;

Quer de la Fourche

This boulder fell on the path in the couple of hours between our ascent and descent

I recently got a MCON-P01. It's a lens that fits on the front of my Olympus 14-150mm lens and turns it into a macro lens by shortening the focus distance to about 25cm. It's much cheaper than buying a dedicated macro lens and the results are quite good really.