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First skiing and snowshoeing trips of the winter

Winter has arrived early in the Pyrenees and it’s been snowing for most of November in the mountains, right down to village level.

Formigal and Astun ski stations both opened last Saturday (16th Nov) – I’ve never known them to open that early before. From today Panticosa and Candanchu are also open. The snow is fantastic! Probably better than at any stage last season and there’s a good covering on and off-piste with plenty of powder. Great news for all those signed up to our snowshoeing holiday in Feb/March as this snowfall has set up a great base that should last all season.

We’ve taken advantage of the snow and headed out both on the ski’s with the family to Formigal and on snowshoes to the peak of Errata.

It was a cold day at Formigal – snowing and low visibility but the kids didn’t seem to mind and loved getting out on the skis again. They are naturals already! After a few seasons of the snow arriving very late it’s great news to have such a decent early snowfall.

Tuesday was a beautiful sunny day and I headed out on the snowshoes with Gustavo, Florencia and Alexis. As there is lots of fresh powder in the higher mountains the avalanche risk is quite high so we stuck to a lower route and headed up Errata just outside of Biescas.

Gustavo and Ruby leading the way

It was a superb day – I’ve never seen so much powder on Errata! The skies were really clear which gave magnificent views. We could see the cliffs of the Ordesa Valley, all of the 3000 metres peaks of the Ordesa National Park park, the Brecha de Roland and right across to Posets, the second-highest peak in the Pyrenees. To the south, we could clearly see the peak of Moncayo which is near Zaragoza an amazing 155 kilometres away!

I got a chance to play with a great app that I’ve got called Peakfinder that shows you the names and heights of all the mountains you can see. You can even combine it with a photo to make a great image:

Peakfinder view of the summits of the Ordesa National Park

We saw no-one all day and made lovely fresh tracks in the snow. The snow was so soft we were able to descend by a much steeper direct route which gave us plenty of fun running through the fresh powder.

All in all a couple of great days to start the winter season. Looking forward to plenty more trips out on the white stuff this winter.

If anybody is interested in coming snowshoeing, the trip of 29 Feb – 7 March is now full. If you’d like to come, drop us an email and we can organise a second trip for alternative dates. UPDATE: We’ve added a new holiday for the 7-14 March – sign up before this fills up too!

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