Valley of Lesponne
This is the less civilizated route to climb the Midi de Bigorre with an important slope and some easy rock-climbs (except if had snow).It's the most interesting for mountaineers.
Time: 4h to summit.
Trailhead: Cabannes de L'Haye (1316m)
In Bagnères de Bigorre take south direction to Beaudean and before of Campan take the little road to right side with the signal "Institute Medice" and after 100 meters turn to right following the signal "Angoue". The narrow road go for the forest of Mourgoueilh to a crossroad. Take right side (signal Lac de Peyrelade) and not the left (Col de la Courade). After a few of Km we arrive to a plain with some ruins in left side of Cabanne of L'Haye and metallic fences in right side. In an stone you can read the yellow paint with the inscription "Col d'Aouet". In the river at 50 meters (right side) you had the signal of "Lac de Peyrelade".
After the first green plain we get the little path in left side following the yellow paint (always present to col d'Aouet). After some zig-zag with har slope we turn to left side to reach the first little hut, the Cabanne d'Ardalos (1705m). We turn in right direction now to recuperate the itinerary in the correct direction and after some green hills we reach the second hut, the Cabanne d'Aouet (1948m). The path go in a new turn to left but finally it turn to right to reach the wide Col d'Aouet (2185m, 2h).
In the col we leave the marks of paint and turn to the evident ramp of entry in the hillside NE of Midi. The first path go to left but in some point dissapear in right side. You must to search some cairns (difficult to see) but the direction is evident in a ramp with very hard slope. After a terrain of grassy and stones we reach the rocky ridge. With the use of the hands in some points we climb the easy stepcrossings, with anothers hards ramps among the rocks. In the middle we cross some great blocks (easy without snow but exposed with ice). After this rocks we reach the exit of the ridge in left side of the observatory. The last part is spectacullar with the climb in the edge of the exposed ridge but easy (I+) equiped with a very good metallic rope to get the little backdoor of the observatory. With snow or ice it's very dangerous this last ridge and the rope is advisable. You reach the highest point in some place of this area but it's dificult to choose the point exact (it's not really important)
In the observatory we turn to reach the ramp of descent to the terrace (with snow be carefull with the blocks of snow what fall from the great antenna and the observatory over you) and enjoy of the wonderfull landscape .
The return it's possible across the same route. In winter the descent it's dangerous and it's necessary some rappel in the ridge to evitate the ice... maybe you must to descent across to normal route to Col de Sencours but in this case the route go in direction to Cabanne d'Arizes (1740m) and the return to Col d'Aouet had another slope of 400 meters... it's long and the total slope is 2003 meters but it's the safest option.
Crampons, ice axe and rope with snow
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