OverviewAs its neighbourgh Perdiguero, Gourgs Blancs is located on the Spanish-French border. The montain looks on the Spanish side on the Benasque's Valley, located in the natural reserve of Posets-Maladeta.
Gourgs Blancs is part of the Maladeta massif, an extensive range of several 3,000m peaks including Pico de la Maladeta, Pico de Aneto and Pico Maldito. The area is very rich of water and lakes; on the north side there are some small permanent snow-fields. Finding water is normally not a problem, though easier on the French side.
On both the French ans Spanish sides there are not real technical difficulties in summer on the easiests routes to the summit, though on both sides the normal routes are about 5 hours long from the closest hut. On the Spanish side there are 1,250m of elevation to gain from the closest hut, Refugio de Estós (1,890m). On the French side the elevation to gain is larger with the closest hut, Refuge de la Soule, wich is located at 1,690m.
In winter, according to the level of snowfall, even the easiest routes get more difficult and physically demanding; some sections over 3,000m can get very icy and the use of crampons and ice-axe certain. Except on the most difficult routes a rope is not necessary.
Getting ThereSpanish side
By car: get to the village of Benasque (1,138m) via the N-269 and the A-139. From Benasque follow the route to the sky resort of Cerlet and keep left when Cerlet indicated. 2-3 km after the last deviation you will find a parking place where the trail-head begins (start of the GR11 trek). Refugio de Estós is about 3 hours of easy walk from this point.
Public transport: take the train for Huesca (via Zaragoza) and then a bus to Benasque (0974-210700, bus station in Huesca).
By car: get to village of Pont du Prat (1,229m) via the Arreau, Bordères-Louron and Loudenvielle. When in Pont du Prat ask for the direction for the Refuge de la Soula.
Red TapeThere are no permits required, though in busiest time of the year space might not be available on the closiest parking places.
The area is a nature reserve, usual rules applies. Camping is not allowed on the Spanish side but the bivouac is permitted (set your tent at sunset and move it by sunrise). More informations can be obtained from the Posets-Maladeta Park in Huesca (Tel. 0974-230635).
When To ClimbThe mountain can be climbed all year round but expect very cold temperature and strong wind in winter, though snowfall can be quite limited during the most of it.
Winter days can be warm enough to make snow melting but during the night re-freeze normally occurs. In winter when weather is forecasted sunny it is highly recommended to start the climb early, expecially on the South face (Spanish) side where couloir sections tend to get very slippery and instable after a few hours of sun.
CampingCamping permitted on the French side, restricted on the Spanish side (check relevant section above).
Huts on both sides, Refugio de Estós (Tel. 0974-551483, 110 places) and Refuge de la Soula.
Mountain ConditionsCheck the weather and the risk of avalanches on Meteo France at www.meteofrance.com
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information about the refuge: place, prices,...