It’s been snowing heavily in the Pyrenees for over a week now but the weather cleared on Friday and Saturday and it was time to dig the snowshoes out of the back of the cupboard for the first snowshoe outing of the season.The ski resort of Astun was our destination on Friday afternoon and we walked up to Col de Moines on the French border. Great views over the resort to Pico Aspe with the sun setting behind.
On Saturday we visited Ibon de Estanés – an area I’d not visited before. It was an unexpectedly wild and beautiful area. Our route took us through woods to a wide plateau called Aguas Tuertas perfect for snowshoeing. Fabulous snow covered mountians rose above us.
As we passed over a low hill we disturbed a large herd of Sarrios (Pyrenean Chamois). There must have been 25 or even 30 grazing on a grassy patch. We were fairly close but they soon sped off at a pace that made us feel like snails!
There was a fair amount of snow but wew were a bit lower than the day before and took our snowshoes on and off several times during the day. We took a circular route back past Ibones de Estanés nestled just on the Spanish side of the border. The route down was quite exciting and had there been much more snow would have been impassable. It started with a nice traverse on a narrow path across a cliff face.
For the final section there was a set of ‘escalera’ marked on the map – this translates to stairs but we weren’t quite sure what to expect. When we got there we found exactly that – a nice set of steps!
Great day – beautiful weather and whetted my appetite for more snow snowshoeing. The snow’s continuing this week and the mountains around Biescas all have white peaks. Formigal and Panticosa ski resorts are expecting to open on the 27th November and that looks possible with the good base of snow they’ve already got and the forecast for the next week. Can’t wait!