In the central part of the Néouvielle Natural Preserve you can find a number of granite mountains, which appear to be rather insignificant compared to their neighbours like Pic de Néouvielle or Pic des Trois Conseillers. Yet they are wonderful lookout peaks and since some of them are easily reachable makes them popular in addition. This is certainly true for all the peaks in the vicinity of Hourquette d'Aubert and Col de Madamète, two saddles which are part of a wonderful round tour, which visits about a dozen of the lakes of the area. In particular the ridge between the two saddles is of interest, as it contains three easy summits: Pic de Madamète, Pic dets Coubouts and unnamed Pic de la Hourquette d'Aubert, which is the topic of this page.
As you reach the parking lot at Lac d'Aubert and take a look across the lake your attention is immediately drawn by the mountain which rises at the northern end of the lake. It is a granite mountain with an easy west slope but sheer cliffs to the north and south, which is connected by a rocky knife-edge ridge with its eastern neighbour Pic dets Coubouts. Pic de la Hourquette d'Aubert has two summits of nearly equal height which tower above north and south face respectively.
The mountain can be easily approached from Lac d'Aubert and summitted in less than two hours. A popular hiking trail gradually rises above the east shore of the lake, heading for Hourquette d'Aubert right beneath the west slopes. From here an unmarked path leads you easily to the base of the summit block where a little scrambling takes you to the top of the north-east summit. A short rocky traverse takes you to the south-east summit, where the east ridge to Pic dets Coubouts starts.
Pic de la Hourquette d'Aubert is a good lookout peak. Thanks to its central location it offers a perfect overview over the Néouvielle Natural Reserve. The best time for a visit is around noon as a sunrise above Aneto and a sunset above Néouvielle spoil the views earlier and later in the day. From the top of the mountain you can count about a dozen lakes, mainly on its northern side.
360° Summit Panorama
There are two possible trailheads, one in the south, one in the north of the mountain. The northern one, however, which starts near Tourmalet Pass (at the botanic garden west of the pass), is very long and you will certainly not use it to climb an insignificant mountain like Pic de la Hourquette d'Aubert. Therefore only the southern itinerary is described here.
- Follow the Bielsa Tunnel Road between St Lary-Soulan and Bielsa.
- At Aragnouet-Fabian the road to the Route des Lacs turns off northward
- Ignore the trailhead for Lac d'Oule at Artigusse.
- Stay on the road until you reach Refuge d'Oridon.
- Turn off right, pass the refuge and head to the parking lot at Lac d'Aubert.
The mountain is part of the Réserve Naturele de Néouvielle. The reserve was created in 1936 and is one of the oldest of its kind in France. It includes an area of more than 2300ha. The usual restrictions apply.
During the high season in summer you will have to pay fees for access and parking. Currently the fees are at €4 for Adults, €2,50 for children and €5 for parking (more than 8h).
AccommodationThe Vallée d'Aure is one of the most popular ski resorts of the French Pyrenees. Thus there is lots of accommodation to be found. The closest campground is near Fabian at Le Pont du Moudang on the Bielsa Tunnel Road. The following link gives you all sorts of information about the greater area including accommodation:
Office de Tourisme de la Valée d'Aure
Maps & Books
- Pyrénées Centrales IV
Luz-Barèges-La Mongie-Payolle-Bagnères de Bigorre-Gèdre-Saint Lary
- Pyrenäen 2 / Pyrénées 2
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