/ Pyrenees base for family holiday

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smm - on 11 Feb 2018

Our friends have proposed a trip to the Pyrenees in the summer (end of July / beginning of Aug) after a great holiday in the Vanoise last year. We will have a few kids aged 6 - 10 and a dog. I have never been to the Pyrenees before and am feeling overwhelmed with trying to decide on a base. 

I would like accessible single pitch cragging with 5s and 6s for me and some easier stuff for the kids. Everyone else is more interested in mountain / road biking and running but will be persuadable to come climbing if I ask nicely. The kids would love water,swimming and interesting walks.

We will be camping and would prefer a low key scruffy campsite than one with regimented pitches and lots of facilities. Our friends have suggested the campsite at Orlu but I'm put off by the descriptions of midges. Are there going to be enough shady crags anywhere for climbing to be a viable option and for the dog not to expire?

Also, any alternative suggestions for venues in the Alps would be welcome. We've been to Ailefroide (which seems to be the most popular venue if anyone asks a similar question) and I would be more than happy to return but we have to go somewhere new, apparently. 


LeeWood - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to smm:

with proper summer heat Cavallers on the spanish side would work; there are 2 campsites in proximity - Barruera is batter logistically but has a significant mozzie problem; that leaves Taull, which has some less regimented space; the river running parallel with the park approach is pop for bathing

good shady / sunny options as the numerous crags are set on both sides of the valley / reservoir  

Mike Rhodes - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to smm:

You might like to look at which is in the Eastern Pyrenees which normally has better weather that the central part and also few mozzies. The camp site is a few hundred m. from Lac de Matermale where there is also a watersports centre as well as other activities including a Go Ape type ropes course.

In the valley there are several "sport" crags with stacks of routes in the 5/6 level as well as more below for the kids.

Bouldering at Targasonne is just 30 mins away as are several hot pools. Surrounding peaks go up to nearly 3000m and the lake is at 1500m so tends to be a better temp in summer compared with the coast which is less than 2 hours away if you wanted a change.

I live in Les Angles 2k away and would be happy to lend you the local guide book and a bouldering mat.

Cheers Mike

smm - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to smm:

Thanks both. That gives us a starting point for some more research. Has anyone else got any comments on the Orlu campsite - is it likely to be hot and full of biting things at that time of year?

LeeWood - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to smm:

prob with Orlu is that its a bit out on a limb w r t a lot of other crags further N; on the other hand its nice to be in prox' to Ax; if you want Ariege granite for the summer then better find a pitch nr to Auzat

I have stayed at Orlu - can't remember mozzies 

ps. granite otherwise - Turguilla is well worth a visit

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