This blog describes my 24-day traverse of the Pyrenees from Atlantic to Mediterranean, July 2011.
The Pyrenean Haute Route is around 800km with 42,000 metres of ascent.

Map of the route | Schedule

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 11 - Paso de los Caballos to Lac des Isclots

11th July 2011

HRP - Day 11

The Paso de los Caballos was a cold windy cheerless place so early in the morning. The descent to Biados was all fairly familiar after last year's GR11. I was keen to check out the facilities at Camping Forcallo, since I'd just walked straight past last time. There was in fact a very clean and functional bar/restaurant where I took a break for at least half an hour to re-group.

I took the lower road to miss out Refugio de Biados, and then hiked up the Valle de Anescruzes through lush meadows of alpine flowers. I stopped above the meeting of the waters where the HRP breaks away from the GR11, and doused my feet in the river for a while.

The climb to the Port d'Aygues-Tortes was quite steep and dramatic, and the descent down the other side to Vallon d'Aygue-Tortes was pretty tortuous down boulder fields.

The walk down to Refuge de la Soula was bit tougher and more awkward than it appeared on the map, so I was fairly tired when I finally arrived just after 5.30pm. I bought a cheese sandwich and can of coke and contemplated staying, but the place did not have a nice atmosphere about it, and of course there were still 4 hours more daylight, so staying put was not really an option.

After a brief rest I hoisted the pack back on and launched back onto the trail with just over 700 metres to climb to reach the Lac des Isclots set in a thoroughly wild and dramatic mountain landscape.

View HRP - Day 11 in a larger map

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