One of the most characteristic peaks in the french department of Pyrenées Atlantiques, pic d'Anie is the first one to stand over 2500 meters high when you travel from the Biscay Gulf to the Mediterranean. It stands in the middle of a karstic region (Karst de Larra) declared as Natural Reserve by the local authorities. The ancient basques, in whose territory the peak stands, used to know it as Auñamendi and considered it sacred, as it was the dwelling of a fairy being whom they called Maitagarri
The first climb is attributed to a french cartographer called Henri Reboul, in 1786 during the Great Topographical Survey of the Pyrenees carried out by spanish and french teams
How to get there
Valley of BelaguaFROM SPAIN
For the spanish approach, start from the Col de la Pierre St.Martin
, on the french-spanish border. You will have to get there from Pamplona or Huesca, the biggest closer cities. Follow the road linking both of them (N-240) until the crossing of Venta Carrica. This is a crossing about (will check) sixty kilometers from Pamplona, where you can find a petrol station and the beginning of the road to Sigüés / Salvatierra de Esca / Roncal. Follow this road (NA-137) for thirty kilometers, until you get to Isaba. After Isaba keep going north (NA-1370) towards France (follow signposts "Francia"). It is a twenty-five kilometers drive, mainly on the valley floor at first and afterwards by the southern slopes of Lakora. You will find the small mountain restaurant of Juan Pito and the Belagua Mountain Hut, traditionally managed by the Club Deportivo Navarra but sadly closed nowadays. Keep going until you reach the small parking area at the mountain pass of Piedra de San Martin, on the french border.
From the spanish side, the only chance to get somewhere near Anie is via the buses of "La Tafallesa", starting at Pamplona and leading you to Uztarroz (in the Roncal valley). It's either that or joining an organized winter day trip to the ski resort of Arette (almost any travel agent in Pamplona might inform you about this kind of trip).
The closest railroad station is located at Pamplona. Consider also getting to Jaca via Zaragoza and Huesca
The closest airport is the one placed at Pamplona-Noain. You can get there from Madrid-Barajas or Barcelona-El Prat
Arette ski resort FROM FRANCE
The best access for the eastern route comes from the small village of Lescun. To get there you have to reach first Oloron-Ste.Marie, in the Vallée d'Aspe. You can also use the western route from France, driving up the Col de la Pierre St. Martin to reach Arette (ski resort) and following afterwards the road to Spain (marked "Espagne") for two or three kilometers.
Oloron Ste-Marie is the closest station I know of. Private transport is mandatory afterwards, nevertheless.
The closest airport is placed in Biarritz
When to climb
Summer is best because of stable weather conditions. Nevertheless, the Larra karst can turn into a real maze when you have to walk around all its accidents. Because of that reason, late spring can also be nice because of snow covering them and making for an easier hike...
Camping and Huts
About a couple of miles north of Isaba, you can find the camping site of Asolaze. Check the links section
Réfuge de Laberouat on the french trail from Lescun
Some kind of a lodging can also be found in the closer villages (Isaba or Arette), or in the ski resort of Arette-La Pierre St Martin (this might prove to be harder out of the skiing season)
Be careful when crossing the Larra karst. It is a most beautiful place, but hides a lot of deep crevasses and holes. At the very least this makes it a tortuous place to walk into, a progress of a hundred meters might be a five hundred meters walk. At its worst, it can become dangerous if you get caught by fog or nightfall.
- Asolaze camping site
Basic information on services and contact possibilities of the Asolaze Camping site (Isaba-Navarra)
- SNCF - french rail network
Direct access to the page where you look for a timetable. I would advice on introducing "Oloron Ste Marie" as a destination.