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Pyrennees in February

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Pyrennees in February

Postby uphigh50 » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:30 pm

Looking for a reasonably quiet area of the French side of the Pyrennees for February, climbs upto D and a hut to stay in. Any ideas?
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby Claude Mauguier » Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:26 pm

Conditions in february are quite unpredictable...From cold and fair to utter cold and ugly. Last feb. was an almost continuous snow falls/storms period, with excessive accumulations as to make any attempt dangerous indeed.
Concerning the Ariège area, which I know best, there is no ideal spot to stay : closed huts, away from interesting rock climbs (rock is poor around there, with a few exceptions on lower altitude cliffs : Sinsat, Vicdessos areas, mainly training spots on limestone or granite). Perhaps some western sectors would be better. But maybe the spanish side should be even better. Diego could tell us a lot more about it...Cheers.
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:48 am

Yep Claude, the Spanish side of the Pyrenees often has better weather that the French. And talking about February that fact could be very important. The snow could be deep enough to use skis or snowshoes on the approaches. Now I'm thinking about the area of Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta, you could climb Pico Mir, Pico Sayó, Pico Cordier, Pico del Collado de la Rimaya and Maladeta. The grades are never over III. There is a hut called Refugio de la Renclusa, where you could pass the night. Anyway, there are many areas where you could climb in the Pyrenees, perhaps rbartolome or eza could help you too. BTW, Andorra could also be a good area
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby eza » Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:42 pm

I'm not sure about the climbing grades, but you might find it fun to visit the Panticosa-Respomuso Area. Have a look at the SP pages of Picos del Infierno or Balaitous. Another feasible climbs around there might be Palas, Arriel or Gran Facha (this last one has also got a good SP page by rbartolome). Huts to be considered in the Area would be Casa de Piedra (at Balneario de Panticosa) or Respomuso Hut (closer to Balaitous, see http://www.fam.es/comites/refugios/refugiorespumoso.htm). As for weather conditions, they are usually quite unpredictable but if you're lucky enough I don't think it would be impossible to find a three to five clear days period. Let us know how it comes out, and best of lucks!
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby uphigh50 » Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:38 pm

Thanks for all of the advice. We fly to Girona, so Spanish side seems sensible now. Have been looking at Gra de Fajol area, based at d'Ulldeter hut or camping nearby. Climbs look interesting and we can move on elsewhere if necessary.
Any thoughts?
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:59 am

I don't know that area but I've found you some site:

<a href=//www.caranorte.com/resenas/directorio/europa/espana/catalunya/ulldeter/u.php>Escalada en Ulldeter</a>

<a href=//www.ulldeter.net/frame_ing.html><b><i>Ulldeter mountain hostel</i></b></a>

Also: http://www.madteam.net/rutas/buscador.php

Take care if bad weather, the wind is usually strong and sometimes is as fast that it blows the stones ("línea de turbonada" or squall-line). There's been some dead because of it
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby uphigh50 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:41 pm

Thanks for the sites and the info - we'll take care.
Is camping in the national parks strictly banned, or is it like the UK where so long as you are subtle, you can get away with it? Ditto for snow-holing?
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:50 am

That's not a National Park though it's forbidden to camp in. Anyway, if you pich the tent at nightfall and take it out early in the morning you won't have problems. That's better far from the huts
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Re: Pyrennees in February

Postby Xim » Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:37 am

In general camping is not allowed, excpet in camping-sites, but bivaquing is normally OK, as Diego just mentioned.

Raise the tent one hour before sunset and take it down one hour after sunrise. And dont leave anything except your footprints! ;-)
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Postby uphigh50 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:30 pm

Got back on Saturday night. French side around Pic Rodo above Font Romeu, snow was very powdery but weather good. Spanish side at Gra de Fajol Gran above Ulldeter was great - did one big couloir route. Also got an ice cascade in above Freser. All in all a great trip - many thanks for the help and advice.
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