Ski touring in Ordesa

Approaching the summit of Marboré with Cilindro (3325m) behind

Approaching the summit of Marboré with Cilindro (3325m) behind

Spent a fantastic weekend ski touring in the Ordesa National Park staying over at one of the many Hunter Chalets  and tackling the summit of Marborè (3248m). Stunning views into the Ordesa Valley and beautiful weather without a cloud all weekend.

High in the park looking down onto the Ordesa Canyon

High in the park looking down onto the Ordesa Canyon

Rather than the usual summer route to Goriz from the Pradera in the Ordesa Valley we set out from the cross country skiing pistes above Nerin which is a better route on skis in winter and takes you right to the rim of the canyon.

The southern cliffs of Ordesa from above

The southern cliffs of Ordesa from above

Along the ridge of the Sierra de Custodia

The Sierra de Custodia

The park looked fantastic covered in snow and the views just got better as we skinned along the ridge of the Sierra Custodia before descending down to Collado de Goriz and onto the Refugio.

Refugio Goriz is surprisingly cosy in winter with a wood stove heating up the dining room and with much fewer people than in the summer they’ve even set up a ping-pong table!

Refugio Goriz

Refugio Goriz

The objective for the next day was the peak of Marboré – at 3248m on of the 14 three thousand metre peaks in the park. We made an early start with the snow still pretty hard which made some of the steeper sections of the ascent fairly tricky. As we got higher the views got better and better but the snow harder and harder and we reached bullet hard ice about 100m below the summit. With our ‘cuchillas’ (don’t know the word in English but the crampons that fit on your skis) hardly biting and a big drop below we decided to change into crampons and walked the final section.

Hard work on the ascent - just after this we changed to crampons

Hard work on the ascent – just after this we changed to crampons

Glorious summit views from the peak. It sits on the border above the Cirque de Gavarnie and you get views down into the village over a kilometre and a half below.

Fabien on the summit of Marboré

Fabien on the summit of Marboré

On the way down Fabien got straight onto his skis but the ice high up did not look very tempting to me so I walked the first couple of descents until we got to some softer snow lower down.

We didn’t get back to the Refugio until 3.30 and we still had a long trip back to the car. I have to say I was pretty shattered and could have easily have settled down next to the stove with a glass of wine and stayed another night at Goriz! But on we had to go so we retraced our steps along the Sierra de Custodia where we witnessed a beautiful sunset.

Monte Perdido, Pico Añisclo and Torre de Goriz in the last glow of the sun

Monte Perdido, Pico Añisclo and Torre de Goriz in the last glow of the sun

The final hour or so were done by moonlight under a fantastic clear sky before arriving back at the car pretty shattered. Great weekend.

Fancy staying at Refugio Goriz? Take a look at Hike Pyrenees Refugio Week which spends two night at Goriz, walks the length of the Ordesa and Añisclo canyons and summits Monte Perdido.

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