Snowshoeing in the Pyrenees

Snowshoeing from Cotefablo to Toronzué (2263m)

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 Hike Pyrenees team

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

Heading out from Cotefablo

I haven’t snowshoed in this area for a few years and recently a new 4×4 track has been put in which makes access a lot easier in winter – before you had to head up a steep footpath through woods which were always complicated to cross on snowshoes.

Overlooking the Pyrenees

Overlooking the Pyrenees

The route follows a broad ridge which has great views – down to Biescas, across to the Ordesa Valley and Monte Perdido, Peña Oroel and even right across to the Posets massif and into Catalunya.

David - Hike Pyrenees guide

David – one of our team of guides

We had fantastic sunshine but during the day the wind really got up and actually started to knock us over.  About 150 metres from the summit we were all flattened by the wind and had trouble standing up again so we actually had to turn around and head back down – there’s not many times I haven’t reached a summit due to wind!

Even despite not reaching the summit it was a great day out and we all enjoyed it – especially Ruby! It was only 11km but with around 900 metres ascent and I have to admit that my legs felt it a bit at the end of the day.

 

3 thoughts on “Snowshoeing from Cotefablo to Toronzué (2263m)”

  1. Hi Phil, Happy new year to all, hope you have had a good festive season it certainly looks like from your last couple of blogs that you are working off the effects of any excesses!
    An idea came to mind reading your latest article for the provision of introductory courses for snow shoeing, winter hiking, etc ,for your prospective clients.
    Whilst you may remember i am based over in Laruns when on holiday, i would certainly love to join in on days out in the hills or day courses ,and i am sure others staying in the area would be interested too. I know some of your partners do something similar in the Highlands over winter.

  2. Hi Ian and Debs,

    Good to hear from you. Ian – if you’re around this winter drop me an email and we’ll see if we can arrange something.

    I think about doing snowshoeing holidays each year but am never sure if there would be enough demand. If you’re interested let me know and I can see if we could get a group together.

    Snowing heavily outside as I’m writing so the great snow conditions look set to continue in the Pyrenees,

    Phil

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