Vignemale & Facha Gran Facha
Names: Grande Fache (french), Cúspide de Bachimaña (spanish), but the translation Gran Facha is the most popular name in Spain.
This one is a nice mountain in the center of the three big ones of the zone (Vignemale, Balaitous and Infiernos) that does a wonderful landscape. Its pyramidal form does that is estimated by all the mountaineers that approach the dam of Respumoso and is that every time attract more people to this slightly isolated mountain.
As complement, though it is probably the least important thing, its height exceeds nearly the mythical level of 3000 meters and for this reason it is a basic target of the collectors of three-thousands. Undoubtedly the climb to this mountain is worth it though it was not reaching this height, but it is an itinerary of high mountain qualified as degree F.sup (I+) due to the final exposed ridge that must be dissuaded to tourists and walkers. A minimum of experience is highly advisable to evitate the fall and death in this mountain.
Unfortunately some accident happens every year in this mountain and must force us, as with its great neighbor the peak Balaitous, not to despise the risk and not to consider easily to this mountain.
For any of its routes the slope reaches 1600 meters. I takes generally 5h 30 min to come to the top. For less trained people the intermediate night is highly advisable in the refuges (Respumoso in spanish side and Wallon in french side).
Gran Facha, west face
Approach to Sallent de Gallego:
-From North and West of Spain, N-240 to Jaca, N-260 and A-136 to Biescas, turn to right 5 km to Sallent.
-From South (Huesca, Zaragoza, Madrid…), N-330A to reach N-260.
-From East (Barcelona, Lleida..), N-240 to Barbastro and Huesca to reach N-330A and N-260.
From Sallent to La Sarra
take the bad road for 6 km to the dam.
You must to reach the important citys of Pau or Tarbes. From there N-117 and D-940 to Lourdes, D-920 to Cauterets.
From Cauterets to Pont d’Espagne
follow the signal to south for D-920.
Facha & Vignemale
No permits required.
In summer the entry of the road of french side to reach Pont d'Espagne had a little tax for the car.
Rules of natural park. Not allowed the free camping.
When To Climb
Generally the summer is the best option (july-september). In winter is a very exposed climb. Early in the season (may-june) is very changeable each year but generally is possible many days with techical material (crampons and ice-axe), but it’s advisble don’t climb in cold days (ice in the ridge).
The ridge of rock is not advisable with snow or rain (the wet rock is dangerous)
Not camping allowed except at two hours of some refuge; you must to dismount the tent in the morning.
:-Refugio de Respumoso
(FAM, 98 places, april-december, tel: 974 490203)
(CAF Tarbes, 120 places,opening may-october, 2005, tel: 056 1859343)
(see CCAA: Aragon, Huesca is in the north)
- CAF Tarbes
Info about this club (including his refuges as Marcadau-Wallon, with the dates of opening)