/ Inspiration for Pyrenees Alpanism

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ford23 22 Mar 2020

Hello, As most people are, I'm stuck in my house at the moment and looking for some mountaineering inspiration. I'm based in the Pyrenees one way or another this summer. I am thinking of trying to come up with a list of the top 10 alpine routes (around AD-D+) in the Pyrenees , to hit once the curfew is lifted, any suggestions? (Salenques Arete and north face Perdu would already be on the list I think)Also are there any classic speed ascent routes in the Pyrenees (like Mont Blanc, Matterhorn in the Alps) to test on?Thanks for the inspiration !

Jasonic 22 Mar 2020
Pyreneenemec 23 Mar 2020
In reply to ford23:

I've done the 3 Conseillers ridge over 20 times. My favorite for an introduction to Alpinism when I was leading for my local French Alpine Club group. Note the spelling ;-) It's short and not very difficult ( I've soloed it 3 times) but good solid granite and the summit has one of the best views in the Pyrénées. If you're fast, you can couple it with the Ferbos ridge on the Pic 3 Conseillers, which is much longer but no more difficult.

You mentioned  yourself the Salenques- Tempestades. It's a very long day, I usually do it with a bivouac for 2 nights at the lake below the Col de Salenques. Nice having the summit of Aneto to yourself in the late afternoon  and knowing that there are a few beers chilling in the lake !

Another favorite of mine is the 'Piton von Martin' route on the Pic Palas. At just under the magic 3000m, the view from the summit IS  in MHO the finest in the whole range. Most of the difficulties are concentrated  on the Piton ( IV). Descend by the Geodesiens ridge. A night at the Arremoulit hut is always a pleasure. I usually bivvy by the lake but have a meal in the hut. The food is  good ! 

If you're in the Ossau valley  you might as well go and do a long route on the Pic de Midi ! There are so many to choose from, I wouldn't  know where to start ! Something a bit out of the ordinary would be the West Face of the Petit Pic and traversing to the Grand Pic . Again a long day, difficulty D. There is one memorable 'step' when there are hundreds of metres  of 'vide' under your feet on the North Face of the Petit Pic ! 

Lastly, how about the North Face of the Vignemale ? It's 850m of easy climbing, but 850m ! It's amazing the number of people who aren't fast enough and spend the night on the route ! Just the once, I did the Direct Sortie to the summit. This involves a little (V) and believe me, when you get that far you are already truly knackered! The Oulettes  hut is too big and busy for my taste  but there are some great places to pitch a tent nearby. Again it's great to spend 2 nights there and enjoying a great feeling of satisfaction waking up on the second morning, seeing what you accomplished !

Want to know anything else-just ask !  

Ken Applegate 23 Mar 2020

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