It’s great living near a ski resort and skiing is part of the lifestlye here. On Wednesday afternoons the kids have ski lessons with the school and last Sunday we ventured out to Panticosa for our first day’s skiing with the whole family – and to make things more challenging for us we took two of Isabel’s and Christophers friends with us too!
The kids on the gondola
It was a fantastic sunny day – perfect for the kids. The school lessons are at Formigal but we headed to Panticosa as it’s a great resort for kids with quite a few beginner runs on travelators for the little ones and some easy blues and reds for Isabel and Iñigo.
The great snow conditions continue in the Pyrenees and yesterday we got the snowshoes out. The weather didn’t look that great up the valley so we headed across to Cotefablo – the pass halfway between Biescas and Ordesa/Torla. It’s south of the high cliffs of the Sierra de Tendeñera so gets much better weather than just 10km north on the other side of the cliffs!
Many of our guests will know the spot as we sometimes head here in the summer to hike up to the summits of Pelopin or Erata. It’s nice and high at around 1500metres so there’s usually snow right from the off. Yesterday we headed in the other direction to the north to the peak of Toronzué (2263m).
The ‘A-Team’ – Gustavo, Brecas and David
Four of us headed out – David our guide who I’m sure spme of you will have hiked with, Gustavo and Brecas two friends from Biescas and Ruby our dog who had her first winter mountain day and had the most fun of us all!
Heading out from Cotefablo
With the holidays over, the tourists gone and the pistes empty once again I headed up to Formigal yesterday for my first days skiing of the season.
We’ve had a lot of snow over the Christmas period – a couple of really big dumps but mixed in with a few days of rain and some high winds so I’ve heard varying reports of the snow conditions so was keen to check it out for myself.
Anayet ski area with Pico Anayet in the background
I’m happy to say there’s loads of snow and conditions are fantastic for the time of year. In both Formigal and Panticosa virtually every piste and lift is open. This is a vast improvement on the last cuple of seasons when during January the snow was very thin on the ground. I’m not saying it’s the best snow I’ve ever skied on but for this time of year it’s great and there’s lots more snow on teh forecast and I think we’re in for a great ski season.
Last night Los Reyes Magos – the three kings – visited every house in Spain bringing gifts and I was lucky enough to be left the Catherine of Aragon biography by Giles Tremlett.
Catherine of Aragon by Giles Tremlett
Although Catherine was the Queen of England for over twenty years, I feel she is a bit overlooked in Tudor history which tends to focus on the romance and court intrigue of Henry’s later wives.
In Britain the kingdom of Aragon is mainly known via Catherine’s name and she is always one of the people that guests ask me about while here. Interestingly though, here in Spain she is not well known at all despite being the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabel – two of their most famous and revered monarchs.
We’d like to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas. Thanks to everyone who’s been out to holiday with us during the year and for making our tenth anniversary year such a great success.
The Hike Pyrenees team had a Christmas lunch in the lovely Vidocq restaurant and those who’ve done our Village to Village hike will reecognise Maria-Jose from Sallent and Conchita and Paco from Casa Pelentos in the photo.
Ken and Hannah are enjoying great Scottish winter conditions and Ken is leading some excellent routes up there with some fantastic photos on their blog.
We hope you all have a great Christmas and happy hiking in the 2018,
Phil, Anna and all the Hike Pyrenees team