Pic d' Estos

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.75181°N / 0.38692°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Mixed, Scrambling, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 9196 ft / 2803 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The cloudy Vallon de La Pez and the Bachimala (Schrader) while ascending Pic d EstosVallon de La Pez
Lacs des Miares and the Sarrouyès while climbing down Pic d EstosLacs des Miares
Pic d Estos from Loudenvielle (a bit in the clouds...)Estos from Loudenvielle
Estos (left) and Sarrouyès (right) from Pla d ArsouéEstos from Pla d'Arsoué
Sunset on the Pic d EstosFrom Saint Lary

Panorama to the Pic d Estos, Sarrouyès, Lustou, and d AretPanorama to the Estos group from Vielle-Aure

Pic d'Estos, also named Pic d'Arrouyette, is a splendid peak located in the Lustou group that separates the valley of Aure and the valley of Louron. It is the easternmost peak of the group, and is particularly well visible from the bottom of the Louron valley, near the Loudenvielle lake for example.

The Pic d'Estos is a top for walkers, quite easy to climb by its normal route, despite the path on the final part require attention to find the right place to walk without scrambling.
The cliffs on the south side of the summit, over the valley of La Pez, are impressive.

The summit panorama is very rewarding, we get superb views. On the Lustou and its northern ridge, called Pararouis, on its nearest neighbour the Sarrouyès, which looks splendid all the way long, overlooking the little lakes "Lacs des Miares" (the ascent of this other peak can be combined with Estos in the same day).
Looking East, we get a whole panorama to the high mountains of the Luchonnais, from the Hourgade, the Perdiguère, the Gourgs Blancs. The Posets and the Bachimala South-East.

Note: Despite located not more than a dozen of kilometers from another almost-identically named valley (Estós, on the Spannish side), this looks like a pure coincidence. "Estos" is likely to come from "Estive" (summer pasture). However, there is a chance that the peak is called so since standing in the alignment of the Estós valley, but it needs to be verified on the place whether Estos top is really visible from Estós valley. From the top, it is hard to say. If it comes to be true, it would mean Estos used to be the spanish name while Arrouyette used to be the french one.

Getting There

Valley of Sarrouyès, while going downSarrouyès valley
Lacs des Miares and the Sarrouyès while climbing down Pic d EstosLacs des Miares

Saint LaryAure valley, winter
Saint LaryAure valley, summer

Granges d OurtiguéGranges d'Ourtigué
Cows in the fog on Col d AzetCol d'Azet

Tuc de Labatiadère under the sea of cloudsSea of clouds...
Looking to Pic d Estos from the Lacs des MiaresEstos from the Lacs des Miares

As we can expect from a peak located at the end of a french valley in "cul-de-sac", Estos is best reached from France by car.

Both of the possible starting points (Col d'Azet and Ourtigué) can be reached either from the Louron or Aure valley, however the drive via the Aure valley is simplier, especially for Ourtigué, despite the peak is more oriented on the side of the Louron valley.

The Aure valley is also the only possibility if you come from Spain (Huesca, Ainsa) and the Bielsa Tunnel.

View Larger Map


Doing out of the Valley of Sarrouyès towards Col d AzetFrom Azet to Sarrouyès valley
Looking to the Sarrouyès from the Lacs des MiaresSarrouyès & Lacs des Miares
Lacs des Miares and the Parraouis Parraouis & Lacs des Miares
Lacs de SarrouyèsLacs de Sarrouyès
Looking to the Parraouis from the Lacs des MiaresParraouis & Lacs des Miares
Reaching the green hut on the Sarrouyès passThe green hut
The Posets from the top of the Pic d EstosVallon de La Pez
The Parraouis (Lustou N ridge) seen while ascending Pic d EstosParraouis ridge
The Lustou from the top of the Pic d EstosSummit view to Lustou
The Posets from the top of the Pic d EstosSummit view to Posets

Two starting points are possible:
- From the Granges d'Ourtigué
- From the Col d'Azet

Both are nearly the same from the elevation point of view, as these two routes meet in the Sarrouyès valley.

Starting from Col d'Azet involves going down during a significant part of the approach (then going up when coming back).
Furthermore, the route via Col d'Azet goes under the pylons of the ski station, and col d'Azet is more remote to reach by car than Ourtigué.

Then, hikers mey prefer the more picturesque route via the Ourtigué barns.
However, the first part in the Ourtigué forest doesnt'allow the views we get on the Azet route.

The rest of the route goes (almost) until the twin lakes of Sarrouyès, located in a northen corrie that almost never sees the sun. Just before these lakes, the real path is climbing on the right, towards the Sarrouyès pass, just before which is located a green metallic hut of sherperds (closed).
Reaching the Sarrouyès passReaching Col de Sarrouyès

Few meters ahead is a large pass in which are lying a half dozen of little lakes, Lacs des Miares. The reflections of the surrounding peaks in them, Estos, Sarrouyès, Parraouis, are gorgeous. This is the point from where the route to the Sarrouyès separates.

There are many possible ways to get now to top of the Pic d'Estos. The hikers going up may prefer reaching the main ridge as early as possible, to get the views on the other side (which is justified, the view in the La Pez valley below is breathtaking), and get a more gentle slope to the summit.

While descending, one may prefer a more straightforward descent to Lacs des Miares via rocky boulders.

Another more adventurous route is mentionned on the website of Philippe Queinnec, scrambling the northern ridge of the Pic d'Estos. However, the rock is said to be poor, and the scrambles tricky. Seen from the top, it looks a bit hazardous. Only for the confirmed mountaineers.

On the same website is a very good online-map of the route, in an applet of the IGN website (french maps, 1/25000).

We usually meeet a lot of tourists in the end of this hike, and the lifts from the Azet station work now also in summer, taking tourists into the Sarrouyès valley. However very few of them get to those summits.

Valley of Sarrouyès from the lakes identically namedSarrouyès valley

Map of Pic d EstosMap

Red Tape

Doing out of the Valley of Sarrouyès towards Col d AzetSarrouyès valley
Lacs des Miares and the Sarrouyès while climbing down Pic d EstosLacs des Miares

Pic d'Estos is not located in any National park, however beware of not leaving rubbish and so on...

The Sarrouyès valley, which you will walk whatever is your starting point, is a common area for cattle breeding; beware of pig-headed cows... :)
beware also if parking the car at Col d'Azet, one might find scratches of horns on the car body...

On the final ridge of Estos, beware of the rock and not to slip, this is a very brittle type of schist.

Sea of clouds from the top of the Pic d Estos.Looking North
East panorama from the top of the Pic d Estos.Looking East


Lacs des Miares and the Sarrouyès while climbing down Pic d EstosLacs des Miares and the Sarrouyès while climbing down Pic d'Estos

The cloudy Vallon de La Pez while ascending Pic d EstosVallon de la Pez

You can bivouac anywhere you want in the area, far from the road and villages, without any troubles.

Concerning official campsites, there are many in both the Aure and the Louron valley.

There are also many accomodations :

(go to the "hébergements" category, the Tourist Information of the Valley d'Aure didn't even mind to translate the site, which is a shame...)

One accommodation is worth mention for large groups of people: La Filature (former spinning mill), in Ancizan, with further information here and here (French). Prices can go as low as 10€ for groups over 10 people. A separate apartment is available too but rates may vary depending on the charges being shared with others or not.