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08/15/18, 02:42 AM

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Author Topic: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees  (Read 610 times)
peteyboy
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The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« on: 07/22/18, 10:41 PM »

Just returned from a mind blowing family hiking trip in the Spanish Pyrenees.  4 national parks of a hard to believe it's real mountain world and waterfalls everywhere.  Worth mentioning that there are comparatively very few people getting out even in the peak summer season there, and I assume from what I learned, in the winter as well, when people almost exclusively ski the resorts I'm told.  Maybe the draw of the Alps, and their lifts providing such easy access to the masses, keeps the crowds away from such incredible terrain.  Although there are guide services in the major alpine valleys, it seems there are comparatively few BC skiers.  The faces, bowls and couloirs are out of this world.  The roads I expect are super sketch in the winter.  I would naively presume that March and April are amazing there, in terms of trying to get the best compromise of snow and safety.  A steep skier's earn your turns paradise - like the Eastern Sierra x 10.  All with refugios!  If you get over there, in addition to accessing what you can from friends, guide services, etc., say hi to Xavi at Hostal La Placa in Erill la Vall in the Boi Valley - a diehard BC skier and former local patroller with extensive time in CO as well - a great guy and resource.
http://hostal-laplaza.com/en/
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glenn_b
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Posts: 320


Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #1 on: 07/22/18, 11:32 PM »

Yes.  Thanks for the beta, Peteyboy.
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H2oskier
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #2 on: 07/23/18, 09:15 AM »

My wife and I bike toured from San Sebastian to Barcelona, but the majority of the trip was in the northern part of the Pyrenees, mostly in France.  We toured through many resort locations which just happen to be many of the TDF stage routes, Tourmalet, Aspin, Aubisque, etc.  Every ski town we visited seemed to have guide services and a lot of touring equipment in the shops.  A lot of the Pyrenees are quite steep, but certainly not as tall as the Alps.  Definitely not as crowded as the northern Alps........I'm sure that is also the case in the winter.  Imagining what all those steep lines would look like in winter is a good distraction on a 10 mile climb 7-10% climb!


* Pyrenees.JPG (112.89 KB, 600x800 - viewed 387 times.)
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silaswild
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #3 on: 07/23/18, 11:33 PM »

https://www.camptocamp.org/books/115232/fr/52-balades-a-skis-dans-les-pyrenees-centrales
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alecapone
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #4 on: 07/24/18, 08:38 AM »

Did xavi mention spending ime in revelstoke? Had a delicious home cooked meal of Spanish tortillas, by a guy named Xavi. He previously spent time cooking in huts in the pyrenees.  He also raved about the area, and showed us some photos of a new stone hut they just built.. I'll have to see if I can find out the name.
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scott
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #5 on: 07/24/18, 09:01 PM »

I would agree, the Pyrenees are great. I spent a bit of time touring there.  I really liked the Aneto zone. I found that renting a car and setting up shop at the access point of your choice was a great way to go.  (very low key there) The huts are fine but a little awkward for a solo American turista. Looooots of terrain with very little human pressure. Very different than the Alps. Can't wait to get back there again.
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David_Britton
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #6 on: 07/25/18, 02:20 PM »

Gorgeous area. These mountains see alot of sun in the winter so roads melt off after storms. Snowpack can vary like US Sierra. I've hiked from Aigüestortes to Ordesa in early June much on firm snow. Nobody around, huts not yet opened.  Lift skied alot at Bacquira (large Alps like resort) and just over the French side at Super Bagners and Peryagudes. Trail hiking French side is busy in summer.
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sb
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Re: The overlooked Spanish Pyrenees
« Reply #7 on: 07/28/18, 06:03 PM »

In the spring of 1982 I did a 4 day trip in the Pyrenees with Quim Carbonell of Barcelona.   Roughly it went - Ordesa NP, Brecha de Rolando, Cirque de Gavarnie, Pico Perdido, down the via ferreta of Ordesa NP.  I don't believe we ran into any other backcountry skiers.  Terrain was excellent.  While the peaks are lower than the Alps, and the glaciers small, there is a lot of mid level terrain providing excellent touring. Snow was plentiful - a typical spring mix of mush and powder.  We had axes and crampons but used them only on Pico Perdido. We carried and once used a tent, but stayed in huts otherwise. Potential for long trips seemed endless.
« Last Edit: 07/28/18, 06:12 PM by sb » Logged
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