Located in a wonderful and important place just under the S.E. face of the Pic du Midi d´Ossau (2,884m), in the Béarn and close to the Spanish border, stands the Pombie Refuge (Refugio Pombie). At 2034m altitude, near the Pombie Lake (Lac de Pombie), it reveals an exceptional panorama.
Even if you do not sleep in the refuge, the visit is very advisable, enjoying refreshing of a cup of wine, or a beer, near of the lake of Pombie. Camping near the hut and using only facilities like toilets and restaurant is usually tolerated, even if it can sound strange in other countries.
-Place: massif de l'Ossau
-Owner: CAF de Pau
-Keepers: Depeyre Karine& Ferri Jean Marc
-Open: 01/06 - 30/09 + Week-end on May or October according with the conditions.
-Telephone: +33 (0) 5.59.05.31.78
-Places (summer): 55 (15 in winter season)
Free kitchen for use by clients, bathroom with showers, dining room (breakfast, lumch, supper available).
Mattress and blanket/pillow provided. Bring your own sheet sleeping bag.
You will have to take home your own rubbish as the hut will only dispose of remains that have been purchased in the hut (beer cans etc!).
Water can be drunk from the tap or from a spring outside the hut. Bottled water is not sold (summer 2010).
--From Huesca or Jaca: N-330 to Sabiñánigo, N-260 to Biescas and A-136 to frontier of Col du Portalet, after a descent of 1 km we reach the parking at the Cabane de l'Araille (1.742 m).
--From Pau: D-934 to Lake of Fabregès and after crossing of Caillou de Soques (trailhead to peak Pallas, 1400m) we reach the parking at the Cabane de l'Araille (1.742 m).
1.) The shortest and probably most frequented route (at least as used by the Spanish) is from the road just beyond the Puerto de Portalet (Spanish-French border crossing) where there are various parking areas. From the parking just in North of Col du Portalet it's a nice and easy walk-up across the bridges and the path to reach the col if Soum de Pombie descending to the refuge. The path from there is clear (I have not done it but route descriptions state it is a straightforward walk-in along marked path and across the flat plain between Portalet and the massif of Ossau and Puyreguet.
Distance: 3.89 km
Ascent: 382 metros
Dificulty: easy in summer, but depending in the time of year and conditions.
Time: 1 hour 35 minutes, in summer conditions.
2.) A longer, and probably more scenic route, is to start at the Cabaña de Soques (in France) on the D-934. Altitude 1,410m. There is a parking area (free) just beside the road which can be busy in summer, so worth arriving early.
Dificulty: easy, in summer, early autumn.
Time: just under 2 hours in normal summer conditions.
From the road, you will descent to a bridge (at 1,392m) over the river and the start of a path that winds up into trees. From there, the route is straightforward through the woods, and later following cairns.
Once out of the trees the route heads up towards pastures. You will come to a couple of cabañas (cabins) used for cattle. Cross the river here and head up towards the one on the left (Cabaña de la Glére, 1,700m). From here, the climb continues, with the hut just visible on a low ridge above. You will complete this last section of the route with fine views of Pic de Midi d’Ossau in front of you.