The Pic de Behorlegi, Harritxarteko Tuturru in Euskarraz, is a nice limestone “tooth”, located in the Massif des Arbailles. Despite its low altitude, this massif is one of the most unknown and inhospitable of all the Pyrénées. Limestone peaks and crevasses, forests, lack of drinkable water…explain the difficulties for men to settle there.
The Arbailles are a big karst, full of caves and chasms ( some of them more then 300m deep ). Water soaks through the limestone, giving birth to the river Bidouze.
An interesting walk leads to its stream, and 50m above the caves, to the flat, 5km long “dead” valley, from where the water infiltrates. ( from Saint Jean le Vieux, go towards Saint Just Ibarre. Follow the road leading to the " Sources de la Bidouze " parking area; a trail along the river leads to the caves, and further up to steel ladders to get to the dead valley ).
Some peaks dominate the area, the most famous of them being the Pic de Behorlegi ( even if it is not the highest mountain of the Arbailles, outgrown by Hauskoa, a balloon-shaped hill, 10 feet higher ). From the west, its sharp shape is easily recognizable.
Its situation makes the Pic de Behorlegi one of the best spots to picture the Basque Mountains; enjoy it on a clear winter or spring day ( lots of hunters in Falls, the mountain gets a bit noisy and overcrowded ).
From St Jean Pied de Port ( Donibane Garazi in Euskarraz, the Basque language ), drive toward Irati skiing station; go left to Mendive, then to Behorlegi ( 14 km from St Jean Pied de Port ).
Trailhead: In the small village of Behorlegi, drive eastward a little road going down to the Etxeberriborda Farm, at the base of the peak ( 1,230ft ~ 375m ).
No permit, no fee; anyway, don't park or camp anywhere, you may disturb farming activities.
When To Climb
All year round. The best time is winter, to take advantage of the panoramic view upon the snow-covered basque mountains.
Camping is allowed, no huts.
Weather forecast: ( 00 33 ) 08 92 68 02 64
Map : IGN 1445 Ouest, 1446 Ouest, 1446 Est