I were in Benasque for a winter climb in Aneto, but after we start our way up it starts snowing and the route was it very deep snow, the sky with dark clouds and lots of fog. So we reach the renclusa hut at 2100 m and the next morning returned to Benasque.
Beautiful day, good icy snow on the morning
We've met more ski-hikers than climbers, snow began at around 2000 m. on north slopes
Fué mi primer tresmil. No hice el paso de Mahoma, había mucha gente y tuve miedo. Fuimos los últimos en abandonar la cima. Pasamos el glaciar sin crampones ni piolet. Eran los tiempos de inconsciencia montañera.........
Good route in good weather, basically very easy - the narrow rock ridge at the top adds some interest and character to the route, but it's straightforward easy scrambling; nothing to worry about though I saw at least one pair roped up for it. The "glacier" seemed more like a very big snowfield, also it was getting a bit scabby with bald ice at the earlier part of the route across it (the track went above and round that part). it adds a "big mountain" feel to the route, though, and looks good. We found the descent quite a pain, a long plod down through broken rock, picking your way all the time and hard work on the knees. On a practical level, we parked at the Hospital de Benasque and found there were frequent buses to the Plan de Besurta, also the Renclusa hut was nice but very busy. There were people camping close by; this seems to be tolerated so long as the tents are put up late in the evening and taken down before you go out (up) for the day. The main start from the hut was around 6am, quite late for this sort of thing, and we met some people plodding up through the softening snow who must have started much later, presumably from the valley. Not sure I'd recommend that. Overall good and worthwhile but you've been warned about the descent.
At last in the summit. A team of three starting at 6:20 am in the Llanos de Besurta and after 4 h finally we reach the summit of Aneto after surpassing to a large quantity of people. Only there was 10-15 persons waiting in the bridge of Mahoma, but more than 150 near the top (and I've see many more climbing while I descent). A tedious wait for the descent of the bridge. Many persons climbing this day without adequate material neither prepararion , ...I don't like the environment and the overcrowding but the mountain does not have the fault and continues being beautiful. Probably I will delay many years in returning. I think that this great mountain itself does not deserve to be visited by so many tourists without experience but it's due to being the "Everest" of the Pyrenees. The mountaineers that seek the tranquility in the mountains should never climbing this mountain in summer to be not that they have a lot of patience (or you must start to climb in the night).
In spite of all I am very happy for having been in the highest point of the Pyrenees that I love so much .
rbartolome has already said about everything. A really tough day rewarded by incredible sights and unforgettable photographs. Though rbartolome made it to the Portillón Superior, I withdrew from about 2300 meters altitude. Maybe some other time...
It was a very Very hard day. Because the road to La Besurta was closed for the snow (rare in may), we had to walk 1 hour extra (2h30min to La Renclusa). After 6 hours "opening troddens in the snow" at 15:00 pm I had arrived to the Portillón Superior after a very hard climb for the very softened snow (up to the knees in many sites). The access to the glacier was impossible across the Portillón but the landscape was glorious for the white color of the snow that covered totally the mountains (there were not visible the glaciers of Aneto and Maladeta buried under the great quantity of present snow ).
In spite of the fact that I do not want to go in summer for the great quantity of people who exists in the Aneto, I will have to return with less snow to have slightly more of luck and though I could not make myself summit, I did not feel defeated by the mountain. The landscapes were a sufficient reward to the great effort realized this day (nobody climbed the Aneto this day certainly).
First attempt on 28 August 03 failed due to mistaken Portillon Superior for Portillon Inferior. Ended up in a difficult position on the ridge and had to abort.
This time I started at La Besurta at 6:30 after a taxi lift from Benasque. At 50 euros, I found it quite steep, even steeper than my climb!
Extremely lucky with the weather, didn't need the torch as the moon and stars gave loads of light. On the west face of Portillon ridge found loads of patches of fresh snow which slowed me down. Thin layer of snow covered the glacier as well. Snow stopped few meters before Paso de Mahoma. Paso de Mahoma wasn't difficult at all maybe harder when it isn't dry. Don't let it intimidate you and go for it! There is only one portion of less than 2 meters slightly exposed, but again it is a horizontal flat slab of rock of considerable width, almost 1 meter!!!
The way back takes a long time as well, mainly because of the boulders you have to cross between the glacier and Portillon Superior. Stay on the left side of the boulders (west) as it is easy to miss Portillon Superior. Also, I tried the direct route down from Portillon Superior hoping it would take less than the ridge to Portillon Inferior and then down. Well, I don't think you save any time going straight down, specially if there are patches of slippery snow!
Climbed it solo, had a great time despite the language problems when encountering Spanish people up there.
Weather was good, but a heavy overcloud was coming in from France.
The trip down was long and heavy due to the large bouldefield there.
Como era habitual en aquél entonces, éramos los últimos en llegar a la cima y también los últimos en abandonarla. Pero fué magnífico porque las nubes que nos acompañaron durante todo el día, se disipararon y pudimos, en la cima, disfrutar del paisaje.
Took the bus (Benasque-Besurta) at Camping Aneto at 4:30 AM
Reached the top at 12:30.
Just missed the bus (17:00uur) and had to wait and drink beer at Besurta (snackbar) till 19:00.
Nice day, Great Climb.
Don’t forget that the descent is long….
We started where the bus left us at La Besurta at 8:20 AM. We missed Portillon Superior pass to the right and ended crossing Glaciar de la Maladeta halfway until we recognized our mistake. We retreated our footsteps and finally found Portillon Superior. There was no snow or need of crampons until you reach the Aneto glacier on the other side of Portillon at this time of the year. We find snow until a few meters below the summit. Tips: 1) If you are doing this climb in the summer, it is definitely recommended that you make this climb during weekdays, since waiting to cross the Paso de Mahoma on weekends can be a frustrating experience. When we did it on a Wednesday there was no waiting time at all; 2) The descent is not much less time consuming than the ascent, as crossing the glacier implies a long traverse of the masif both ways. Normally, it should take around 5 hours to ascend from La Besurta and 3-4 hours to descend it back; 3) You don't save time by sleeping in Refugio de La Renclusa the night before the ascent as this is located at 2100 m., just 30 minutes above the bus stop at La Renclusa; 4) After you cross Portillon Superior you can find water in the first portion of the glacier moraine in various places.
We were about 50 people from G.M Texu. The bus wouldn't go any further than Hospital de Benasque due to a late snowfall, so we had to walk all the way up to La Besurta and then the Renclusa Hut, snowing heavily during the last hour. The morning after the snow was knee deep when we started around 6 am, but the weather was giving us a break. We didn't realized till we were at 3250 m that we had missed the Portillon Superior in the thick fog and we had headed for the Maladeta instead... 400 meters extra digging a trench in the snow, yuk! so we went down to the Portillon, across the glacier and summitted the Aneto around noon. The Paso de Mahoma was kind of hairy in fresh snow... fortunately the fog did not let us see the bottom of the cliff. The weather went rotten again very quickly and the way back was another 5 hours under the snow, except for the lucky few that had gone on skis. 30+ of us reached the summit.
My brother and I climbed Aneto in order to get in shape for that summer campaign in the Peruvian Andes. We were followed by our Alaskan Malamute friend "Nuka". We had a beautiful day.
Long - and busy - climb. Stayed at the hotel below the refugio. Left at 0430, past the refugio and on to Portale superior. Interminable field of large boulders then glacier and finally the slightly exposed Paso de Mahoma. Plenty of space on top - good views of wild Pyrenees mountains. Back the same way. Long day - 11-12 hours in all. Worth taking a view on the weather as you cross the Portale - if bad weather brews up up you can get stuck on the wrong side as the Portale could be difficult to negotiate in fog/big wind. You can't start this early enough to avoid the crowds, but don't be put off.
Due to a lousy physical form, I withdrew from the Collado de Coronas (3200 m). Have to get back there some day...
Long day from the Hospice de France to the summit and back
Muy bonita ascensión, con gran ambiente, pero mucho frio por la noche (-17ºC)
Only a piece of advice: wake up very early to avoid crowds ...