Tag Archives: Ordesa

Kicking off the 2016 season with a delicious meal in Ricon el Montañes.

Hike Pyrenees, season so far…

We kicked off our 2016 hiking season 6 weeks ago with a superb meal in Ricon el Montañes in Biescas.  Since then we have welcomed, explored and shared the Pyrenees with many new as-well as familiar faces returning for their second, third or even fifth holiday with us!

Lakes and Valleys, 29th May – 5 June.

A superb first week with the early spring flowers still making an appearance. We also encountered some patches of snow which added an extra enjoyable element to our hikes!

Valle de Tena Explorer, 5 – 12 June

This week we welcomed Terry, Cathy and Clare back on their second holiday with us. They along with others explored the Valle de Tena, we even sneaked over the border for a day hiking in France.

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Refugio Respomuso in the beautiful Circo de Piedrafita

Hiking the GR11: A Practical Guide

I’ve just finished putting together a guide to the GR11. The GR paths are a network of extensive paths that criss-cross Europe, mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.  Here in the Spain, GR stands for ‘Gran Recorrido‘ and here in the Spanish Pyrenees, we have a number of these GR paths linking key settlements, passes and valleys, but perhaps the most challenging and impressive of these GR routes and the one that many of our hikes are based around is the GR11.  The GR11 stretches the entire length of the Spanish Pyrenees, from Hondarribia, on the Atlantic coast to Cap de Creus, on the Mediterranean coast, and covers a total of 840km, which is divided into 46 day long sections.

The guide can be found here: Hiking the GR11: A Practical Guide

 

 

A view of the Sierra de la Partacua on day 2

Some more photo’s from our recent hikes in the Pyrenees

As mentioned previously, it’s been a busy start for Hike Pyrenees and there’s more than one camera here at  HQ. So here’s my favorite photo’s from the season so far from the dual level hikes in the Valle de Tena and Ordesa. With wild flowers in abundance, vultures dominating the sky and beautiful scenery, it’s hard to know which way to point the camera!

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Views of the French Spanish Border from Collado Pacino

Views of the French Spanish Border from Collado Pacino

 

Hiking in and around Ordesa -

Views from the summit of Pelopin 2007m

Views from the summit of Pelopin 2007m

Summit of Pic Peyreget

A great season so far…

Well, the 2014 hiking season here in the Spanish Pyrenees is well and truly under way, and despite the occasional late afternoon thunderstorm, things have been ticking along nicely.  Our self-guided holidays are proving to be as popular as ever, with about half of the guests hiking the 6 day Village to Village Walk in the Valle de Tena.  Other guests have explored the Ordesa Valley, Camino de Santiago and other spectacular areas of the Valle de Tena.

It’s also been busy on the guided holidays.  We’ve run a few more dual level holidays this season, allowing walkers to choose between gentle and more strenuous walks, both in the Valle de Tena and Ordesa, on each of their 5 days, giving them the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of environments, from flower filled meadows through to rugged high mountain terrain.  Highlights have included hiking the Faja de Pelay in the Ordesa Canyon, visiting the Ibones de Arriel above the GR11 and popping over the border to walk in the French Pyrenees.

Phil has also run a new walking holiday this season, in the Western PyreneesThis holiday is split between  the two beautiful villages of Ezcaroz in the Valle de Salazar and Erratzu in Baztan, and is aimed at those looking for relaxed days in the mountains.   Many of the guests on this holiday had hiked with us before (mostly on our Lakes & Valleys holiday), and were looking to explore the Pyrenees further.  Phil will be running this trip again in September.

We’re also all looking forward to running our Refugio Week later this month, which tackles the highest peak in the area, Monte Perdido, which at 3355m, looms over the head of the Ordesa Canyon.

Rabada and Navarro

rabada-navarroAlberto Rabadá and Ernesto Navarro are two of Aragon’s best known and finest climbers, climbing many bold new routes before coming to a tragic end on the north face of the Eiger in 1963.

Alberto have already gained a reputation as an excellent climber with the first Spanish ascent of the north face of Torre de Marbore in the Cirque de Gavarnie and opening up lots of new routes on the amazing cliffs of Riglos in the mid to late fifties. However it is was when he roped up with Ernesto for the first time in 1959 for the new route Via de la Diedros again on the cliffs of Riglos that this legendary climbing team was formed.

Over the next few years they opened up a huge number of routes – one of the most famous being the first ascent of the west face of Naranja de Bulnes (highest summit in the Picos de Europa) in 1962. It was in the Aragonese Pyrenees that most of their climbing was done and they made several of the first ascents on the steep and frankly terriffying cliffs the Ordesa Canyon.

Alberto Rabadá and Ernesto Navarro

Alberto Rabadá and Ernesto Navarro

In 1963 they journeyed to Grindelwald to attampt the first ascent by a Spanish team of the north face of the Eiger. On the 3rd August they climbed 1000 metres up the face attempting a new direct route but were forced back by a change in the weather and retreated back through the famous Eiger tunnel.

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A Successful Refugio Week.

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The Refugio Week team at Refugio de los Ibones de Bachimala

Han & I (Ken) have recently returned from guiding the first Refugio Week of the season, which proved to be very successful, with everyone reaching the summit of Monte Perdido, which at 3335m, is the third highest peak in the Pyrenees.

For the first half of the week, we started at Sallent de Gallego, in the Valle de Tena, and walked on the GR11 alongside the beautiful Rio de Aguas Limpias, up to Refugio de Respomuso.   We made the most of the afternoon by practising basic winter skills (such as using an ice axe and crampons) up towards the Collado de la Facha on the French/Spanish border.

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The team with Pico Teberrai in the background

The following day, the team made the most of their newly acquired skills by continuing along the snow covered GR11 up the Collado de Tebarrai, from where some chose to reach the summit of Pico de Tebarrai at 2916m.  A long descent, made much easier by the softening snow, led us down to our second refugio, the new Refugio de los Ibones de Bachimala, above Baño de Panticosa.

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Les Treseroles - Cilindro, Perdido & Anisclo

For the second half of the Refugio week, by taking 4x4s up to Punta Acuta, and traversing the southern rim of the canyon then up and over Punta Custodia, we approached the popular Refugio de Goriz, at the head of the Ordesa Canyon, from where we all summited Monte Peridio the following day.  There was still a lot of snow from Lago Helado to the summit, again requiring the use of an ice axe and crampons.  The team descended from Goriz via the Anisclo Canyon. It was a great achievement by Keith, Lindsey, Carol, Michelle & Mike and we certainly celebrated accordingly!

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On the summit of Monte Perdido

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Descending the Anisclo Canyon

Hiking to Pelopin (2007m)

The peak of Pelopin can be reached from the Cotefablo pass which is half way between Biescas and Torla. The pass is over 1400m so it makes a great place to quickly get up into the mountains from.

Friday afternoon I was suffering from cabin fever after a week of bad weather so I called Rafa and we headed up to Pelopin – the clouds were low and it was windy but it was good to get out and blow the cobwebs away.

Rafa crossing a small patch of snow

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Waterfalls in Ordesa

The Cascada del Estrecho in the Ordesa Valley

The waterfalls in Ordesa are in full flow at the moment with the warm early summer weather melting the snow from the peaks above. You pass a series of fantastic waterfalls as you walk along the valley floor with my favourites being the Casacada del Estrecho and the Grados de Soasa.

The woods are also very pretty at the moment with the bright green new leaves of the birch trees contrasting with the darker green needles of the evergreen pines and silver fir.

Cliffs of Ordesa

The cliffs of Ordesa with beech and pine woods below

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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 Refugio Goriz 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. Continue reading

The Peaks of Ordesa

The 3000m border peaks of the Ordesa National Park - click for a bigger image

The 3000m border peaks of the Ordesa National Park - click for a bigger image

From the Monrepos pass you get a superb vista across the Pyrenees including this fantastic view of the Ordesa National Park. You can see ten of the 3000m peaks, the cliffs of the Ordesa Valley and even the Faja de las Flores. Click on the photo to get a larger clearer picture. Continue reading