A beautiful and quite isolated three-thousander of the Pyrenees, easy to walk up and not too crowded. The first succesful climb was performed by F. Schrader and H. Passet on the 11th August 1878. Due to its standing far from the main roads, it is not well known by the general public and there are even some doubts about its real height. The National Geographic Institutes of Spain and France give to Bachimala a height of 3174 meters. Anyway, the trip allows good sights of the Posets /Llardana massif. The south face is reached by means of the spanish valley of Plan, while the north side climbs start from the french valley of Louron (Val Louron).
Between Bachimala and Bielsa you will also find some of the wildest and most unspoiled locations of the spanish Pyrenees.
Getting ThereROAD ACCESS:
For the south face routes, start from Plan (spanish Province of Huesca). From Huesca, take road N240 to Barbastro (49 km). After that, it's road C1311 northwards (9 km) until you find a crossing and follow the signals to El Grado. Turn left there and enter road C138, which will take you after 59 km to Aínsa (via El Grado and puerto de El Pino). There will be only 39 km left then, first by driving northwards on road HU640 (across Labuerda and Escalona) and turning right after Salinas for a final 13 km drive to Plan. This is a rather narrow road, try not to take in the dark and driving will be much more enjoyable (apart from the great views!). After Plan, the final approach to Biadós Hut takes a further 3 km by road and 10 km more of a not too good dirt road. When you reach the final fork of this dirt road, turn right for Biadós and left for Tabernes Hut.
For a climb from the french side of the border, the only available road approach begins at the road linking Arreau and Bagnéres de Luchon (via Loudenvielle and Col de Peyresourde). There is a road starting somewhere around Loudenvielle and running south, following the Valley of the Neste de Louron. The end of this road is placed at the north side of Bachimala at Pont du Prat, (about 1250 m high).
Up to this moment, I haven't been able to find any suitable bus connection to Plan. The best I can say for the moment is to catch buses to Ainsa (see www.alosa.es)and arrange private transport afterwards. I will post any other news on this subject as soon as I get them
The closest airports are placed in Barcelona (about 300 km away), Zaragoza (about 200 km) and Toulouse. From this last airport you can get to both sides of the mountain (the border can be crossed easily by means of the nearby Tunnel of Bielsa).
The nearest rail stations are the ones at Sabiñánigo and Barbastro. This means that a minimum of eighty kilometers will stand between you and Bachimala from any of them. Additional transport will therefore be required (see "Bus access").
No need for permits. Consider taking your skis in winter, the normal route from Biadós ("Collado de Señal") is good for mountain skiing. It can be done in about 90% of the route, from the fore-summit (3050 m) downwards.
Where to stay
The mountain is, as already said, quite isolated. The nearest spanish village is Plan, thirteen kilometers south. Consider staying the night before in one of the small hotels of the village. Another possibility is the mountain hut of Biadós, placed south of the mountain at the junction of the two Cinqueta Valleys. Camping is (as far as I know) allowed nearby. There is also a small unguarded hut on the west side of the mountain (Tabernes Hut).
For the french (northern) routes, start from Pont du Prat (1250 m). There is a hut on the eastern side of the mountain (La Soula Hut - 1710 m), but up to this moment I haven't got much information about it.
Is it going to rain?
For weather information, one of the most reliable sources that I know of is the French Institute of Meteorology (http://www.meteo.fr). You can also trust the Spanish Institute (http://www.inm.es) and http://www.barrabes.com/eltiempo/meteo.asp (this is a private web page of a mountaineering shop in Benasque, Spain. It offers good weather information).