OverviewIMPORTANT NOTE: BE AWARE OF MURALLA DE POMBIE BECAUSE OF MANY ROCKS FALLINGS: Desprendimientos en el Midi d'Ossau
This mountain measures under 3.000 m but rises alone above others in the area. Regardless the difficulty of its faces, the history of this peak starts before other mountains in Pyrenees: Monte Perdido, Vignemale, Maladeta or Balaitous. Its interest is because the gaudy silhouette and easy approach. On 1582 and 1591 there were the first attempts to Midi d'Ossau. On 1787, a cairn on the summit was built (see History here).
Other non normal routes to Pic du Midi d'Ossau (Pointe d'Espagne):
- 4 peaks traverse (1300-1400m, D, V). First by F Cazalet, Jean Santé on 3rd September 1933.
- La Fourche or N face (500m, BD). First by H Brulle, R d'Astorg, C Passet and F. Salles in 1896.
- S pilar (250 m, MD+). First by Patrice de Bellefon, R Despiau, B Grenier and Jean Ravier on 5th and 6th July 1959.
- SE face.
- SW face
Routes to Pointe de France (2.878 m):
- N spur (700m, MD, V-V+). First completed by Patrice de Bellefon and R Laffranque in October 1961.
- W-NW face (600-650m, ED-).
Pilier de l'Embarradère (2.705 m) 430m, ED. First by P Bouchet, Jean and P Ravier on 17th and 18th July 1965.
Pointe Jean Santé (2.573 m) 500m, MD, V+ max. First by A Armengaud and Jean Ravier on 8th May 1953.
La Vallée d'OssauThe valley of Ossau is placed in the Béarnaises Pyrénées, between la vallée d'Aspe and la vallée de Gavarnie, from Rébénacq to the French-Spanish frontier (Col du Portalet). The Col d'Aubisque closes the valley to the east. The villages (from N to S) of the high Ossau are: Bilhères, Bielle, Béon, Bélesten, Gère-Bélesten, Aste-Béon, Louvie-Soubiron, Béost, Assouste, Aas, Laruns, Eaux-Bonnes, Gourette, Eaux-Chaudes, Goust, Gabas, Arouste-Fabréges and Pont de Camps.
Getting ThereBY PLANE
The nearest airport is the Pau-Pyrénées' International Airport, tel 05 59 33 33 00. There are 8 daily flights from Paris, 3 from Lyon, 2 from Nantes and Clermont-Ferrand and 1 from Marseille.
There are at least 3 possibilities:
1. From Pau, take the road D-934 till the parking near Caillou (Rock) de Soques placed at 1.410 m after Pont de Camps.
2. Take D-934 till other parking (1.705 m) near Cabane de l'Araille (Cirque d'Anéou).
3. D-231 from Gabas to Lac de Bious-Artigues.
There are also 3 options:
1. From Huesca or Jaca, road N-330 till Sabiñánigo, then N-260 till Biescas and A-136, 800 m passing the frontier to the parking (1.705 m) near Cabane de l'Araille.
2. Take D-934 till the parking at Soques.
3. D-934 passing Soques till Gabas, then D-231 to Lac de Bious-Artigues.
See Pyrenees National Park for further information
Red TapeAll the parkings are still free but Pic du Midi d'Ossau is situated in Parc National des Pyrénées. Therefore, there are some prevailing rules that I'll explain soon.
When To ClimbEvery time of the year, from May to September is the best season to climb this superb peak.
Meteo France. Weather information. Try putting Pyrénnées Ouest / Artouste-fabregues (in English, French, Spanish and German; two days forecast is offered). Artouste-fabrégues ski resort is in the area. Also avalanches information.
Lodging and campingsThe Ossau valley has a lot of campings, hotels, etc. Try to reserve in summer and winter (if you choose a ski resort). There is a Tourist Office at Laruns called L'Embaradére, tel 05 59 05 41 88, Avenue de la Gare. More tourist offices: Maison de Fabréges (at Artouste-Fabrèges, tel 05 59 05 34 00), bourg Gabas (at Gabas, tel 05 59 05 32 13), Jardin Darralde (at Eaux-Bonnes, tel 05 59 05 33 08), Maison du Parc National del Pyrénées (at Laruns, tel 05 59 05 4159, fax 05 59 05 43 09, 16 Avenue de la Gare) and Maison de la Vallée d'Ossau (at Laruns, tel 05 59 05 31 41, fax 05 59 05 35 49, e-mail: [email protected])
Camping is forbidden without 1 hour-walk and only night camping is permited.
Ski ResortsGourette (1.350 - 2.400 m)
19 lifts, 28 runs, (1 black, 12 red, 7 blue and 8 green). Snowpark. Rervation's tel 05 59 05 12 17, forfait's tel 05 59 05 12 60.
Artouste (1.250 - 2.100 m)
9 lifts, 15 runs (1 black, 5 red, 8 blue, 1 green). Snowpark. Reservation's tel 05 59 05 34 00, forfait's tel 05 59 05 36 99
RefugesCabane Pyrenea Sports
Belongs to Société Pyrénées Sports at Pau, 25 places. On the NE shore of Lac de Bious-Artigues.
Refuge de Pombie (2.031 m)
Below the peak, built in 1967, CAF, radio, meals, 50 places (25 when closed). Opens from June to Septembre, also on weekends from April to June. Hut's Address: Guy Serandour, 64440 Gabas, tel 05 59 05 31 78. Guard's Address: Guy Serandour, Route des Bains, 64260 Sevignacq, tel 05 59 05 11 73. Reservation when closed: CAF de Pau; 5, Rue René Fournets; 64000 Pau; tel 05 59 27 71 81 labour days from 17h to 19h preferably. E-mail: [email protected]
Cabane de Peyreget (1.950 m)
Non guarded, 4 places. Near Lac de Peyreget and W of Peyreget' little peak ridge.
Mountain ConditionsGet informed of the winter road conditions in the pages 601 and 611 of TVE teletext.
- Parc National des Pyrénées
General information about this Park, it's a bit weak: no weather and links to refuges' Webs.
- Confédération Pyrénéenne du Tourisme
Tourist information of Pyrenees, in French.
- Pyrenees Team
Goods photographs of the chimneys. You'll know where you'll go. Include one of the best pictures I'll see for the route.
- INM weather forecast and snow conditions for The Aragonese Pyrenees.
Though the weather use to be different they are near Pic du Midi d'Ossau.
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