Lac Médium de Bastan
"The most majestuous peaks are not systematically the tallest ones, they are rather the secondary ones whose views allow better perspectives to the main ones", used to say Ramond de Carbonnières
, Pyrenean pioneer and famous explorator of the Monte Perdido
Pic de Bastan, 2718m, and despite Ramond never went there, corresponds perfectly to this definition.
Lac Inférieur Lac Inférieur
There are very few peaks of this size in the Néouvielle area
that allow such a splendid summit view, not to mention beautiful hikes from each side to reach it.
Pic the Bastan is located right in the middle of the "country of the lakes", the beautiful granitic Néouvielle area.
Its most common approach, from the South, is made from col de Portet (2215m), one of the highest places accessible by car in France. Which makes it a very gentle hike, matching perfectly the needs of people with knees problem or afraid of too big level differences; while crossing not less interesting areas of sub-alpine landscapes full of lakes.
The origin of the word "Bastan", very common in the Pyrenees, is derived from the Basque "Baztan", which means a mountain river. The first ascent of this peaks is unknown (probably sherperds).
The view from the top of the Pic de Bastan is extremely rewarding, with splendid view to dozens of lakes in every direction, and the two proud pyramids of the Néouvielle
Peak and Pic Long
|Summit view to the peaks of Campbiel, Long, and Néouvielle |
|Summit view to the Luchonnais area
360° summit panorama
360° summit panorama from Pic de Bastan
Pic de Bastan Lac de Bastan Lac de Bastan The Port Bielh lake
It depends from where you climb the Pic de Bastan.
The most common approch is from the Col de Portet (2215m), whose road, a bit tricky to find, starts at Saint Lary
and climbs to the Plat d'Adet and Espiaube
ski stations. Just before the car park of Plat d'Adet, a not very noticeable junction goes right, on a tiny road on which lie often some fallen rocks (beware !). Some people mention that this road is officialy closed, but it is regularly used by a large amount of hikers, as well as few sherperds who reach easily their pastures. Col de Portet is usually very windy.
Some other people can also choose to use the same route, but instead of this starting point, will choose the Couplan road that goes to the Néouvielle lakes (starting in Aragnouet), and park below the dam of Lac de l'Oule.
Both of these starting points are located in the Aure valley, reacheable from the A64 motorway at the Lannemezan junction.
The other frequent approach to Pic de Bastan is from the North, and one needs to get into another big valley of the Pyrenees to get there, the Campan valley, accessible from Bagnères de Bigorre (Tarbes junction on the A64 motorway). Then we need to take the road in the direction of the well known Tourmalet Pass, pand park in a sharp turn located just after Artigues-Campan and before the station of La Mongie
By public transports, the north approach is the only likely to be served with public transports (probably busses going to the Tourmalet ski resorts)
Agrandir le plan
As mentionned just before, there are 2 main approaches to the Pic de Bastan, which all reach the Bastanet Pass just before the final ridge.
Map of Pic de Bastan
* From Col de Portet (2215m), follow the well marked GR10 crossing first some wide pastures, then going to the Bastan lakes, in the order : Lac de bastan Inférieur, then Medium (the main and largest one), then Supérieur. Climb then via the granite boulders, but on still well visible path, to Bastan Pass. The Bastan lakes are a fairy like place and you may spend few hours wandering around the complicated shapes of the shores. On a promontory of the lake is located one of the most beautiful huts of the area, the Refuge de Bastan
, which also has the particularity to be one of the few not to be owned by the french CAF, but another organism , the ASPTT of Toulouse
(contact them for reservation on +33 561 148 600)
Lac Inférieur Lac Inférieur Lac Médium Lac Médium Lac Supérieur |
* From the Tourmalet, walk up the valley of Campana du Cloutou with its multiple lakes too: Réservoir des Laquets, Lac de Gréziolles, Lac du Campana du Cloutou, Lac d'Arrédoun, Lac de la Hourquette, just below the Bastanet Pass. On the Lac du Campana is located another mountain hut, the Refuge du Campana du Cloutou
(+33 616 663 037, owner : CAF de Bagnères)
Arrédoun Arrédoun Hourquette |
* From the Lac de l'Oule, one can either join the south itinerary via the Bastanet lakes, or the north one via the Hourquette pass, another sharp pass as high as the Bastanet Pass and just next to it.
Bastanet Port Bielh Hourquette |
|Bastan Pic de Bastan from Bastanet Pass Summit
All these routes lead to the Bastanet Pass, from which we walk first shortly towards the Pic de Bastan, until a flat shoulder. Then, some scramble is necessary to reach the top. The scramble circumvents north the top to reach it via the more welcoming western slopes, on which we need to use the hands. Easy scramble, but beware if there is ice or snow between the rocks, the fall is potentially exposed.
For more informations, read the excellent description of all possible routes in this section of the website of Philippe Queinnec :
The Bastan Lake
Near Col de Portet
Col de Portet
If you plan to park at Col de Portet, make sure the road is accessible, by phoning the Office de Tourisme
in Saint Lary.
Beware also if you have a beautiful car: some people found the body of their car scratched, twisted, damaged... the autors ?! cows with their horns !
Evening panorama from Col de Portet
The Refuge du Bastan View from the Cloutou refuge
Wild-camping is allowed everywhere in this area of the Pyrenees which does not belong to any National Park neither Natural Reserve.
There are several official campsites in the Aure Valley, as well as 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...)
It is also possible to accomodate into these two huts mentionned in the Routes section :
- The Refuge de Bastan
(ASPTT of Toulouse
, +33 561 148 600)
- The Refuge du Campana du Cloutou
(+33 616 663 037, CAF de Bagnères)
One accommodation is worth mention for large groups of people: La Filature
(former spinning mill), in Ancizan
, with further information 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.
Lac de Bastan, near the hut, evening