Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.92988°N / 0.02090°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8081 ft / 2463 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Pic de LévistePic de Léviste and neighbouring summits

The first prominent mountain ridge between the valleys of Argelès-Gazost and Bagnères de Bigorre is that of Pic du Midi de Bigorre. This huge mountain dominates all the views from the Tarbes plain. To the west, Pic du Midi de Bigorre stretches a long and dendritic ridge with many summits and subridges, which are 300 to 400 meters lower than Pic du Midi thus emphasizing its emersed position.

One of these lower summits is Pic de Léviste. This peak is near the western end of the main ridge high above the village of Pierrefitte-Nestalas. Its position between the equally high summits of Soum de Léviste to the west and Soum Arrouy to the east causes a rather hidden aspect of Pic de Léviste; in fact you always have to search a while in order to identify our “Pic” when looking for it from another Bigorre summit.

Pic de Léviste is situated between the Vallée d`Isaby and the Hautacam ski area to the north and the valley which stretches from Luz Saint Sauveur to the famous Col du Tourmalet, one of the challenges of the Tour de France. There are several possibilities to summit this mountain from the north, the northeast, the northwest and the south. The scenery is always great: huge cirques with steep meadows, rock peaks and ridges and great views to the south, west and north. Only to the east Pic du Midi is blocking your view a bit.

Pic de Léviste was the ideal starter for my 2011 Pyrenean hiking weeks. Like the neighbouring Soum Arrouy or Soum de Lascours, which can be recommended equally as an interesting hiking aim, Pic de Léviste gives you a good look on Pyrenean – Bigorre hiking condition: narrow trails, mainly unmarked or only sparsely cairned, in parts off-trail, deeply cut-in valleys, soaring vultures, sparkling creeks, deep blue mountain lakes, remote landscape, interesting wildflowers and the possibility to summit a neighbouring peak, if – yes – if not a sudden appearance of dense fog and heap clouds reduce your sight to nearly zero ………….

Getting There

Pic de LévistePic de Léviste as seen from Val d´Azun

Pic de Léviste is situated between the Argelès-Gazost – and the Bagnères-de-Bigorre valley.

  • You reach Argelès-Gazost on highway A 64 (toll road); exit number 12, “Tarbes Ouest”. Proceed on road N 21 to Lourdes and on road D 821 to Argelès-Gazost.

  • You reach Bagnères-de-Bigorre on highway A 64 (toll road); exit number 13, “Tarbes”. Proceed on road D 817, direction Tarbes, then to the left on D 608 and D 8 to Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

  • Trailheads near Argelès-Gazost

  • Hautacam, Col de Tramassel or Col de Moulata
    Follow D 821 until it crosses the river Gave de Pau. Take the first road to the left to Ayros-Arbouix (D 100). At the village take D 13 to the left, direction Boo-Silhen, then take the first road to the right, direction Artalens-Souin and Hautacam (D 100). Follow this road up to the second big parking area at Col de Tramassel (this parking is on the ridge between Pic de Naouit and Pic de Hautacam). Or follow the dirt road which branches off at Col de Tramassel to the right up to Col de Moulata (bad road).

  • Ortiac trailhead
    Follow D 821 until it crosses the river Gave de Pau. The road is now D 913. Follow it to nearly Pierrefitte-Nestalas. Before reaching this village a raod branches off to Villelongue and to Ortiac. Go on on this road, passing Ortiac and leave the car above the little village where it is possible.

  • Southern trailhead

  • Follow D 821 until it crosses the river Gave de Pau. The road is now D 913. Follow it to Pierrefitte-Nestalas to the first rotary. Take D 921 to Luz Saint Sauveur. At this beautiful village turn left on D 918 in the direction to Col de Tourmalet. After Betpouey turn left on D 147 to the village of Sers.

  • Trailhead near Bagnères-de-Bigorre

  • At Bagnères-de-Bigorre follow road D 935 to Beaudéan. After that village turn right on D 29 (Vallée de Lesponne) until you reach the parking area of le Chiroulet at the end of the road.

  • Route Overview

    The following names of the trails are no official denominations. They are my invention and correspond to the trailheads.

    Hautacam trail
    From Col de Tramassel follow the dirt road to Col de Moulata up to the first col between Pic de Moulata and Pic de Nerbiou. Leave the dirt road at that col on narrow trails traversing level the south slopes of Pic Moulata and Pic Naouit, passing by Lac de Layous. After a while you reach the slightly descending trail coming from the parking area of Col de Moulata. Proceed on the different trails to the Picourlet hut, thus passing by high above beautiful Lac d´Isaby to the Lac dets Plagnous or descend to Lac d´Isaby and traverse the contributing creeks to the south. Climb the north slopes on a narrow trail and then off-trail to Lac dets Plagnous where you meet again the first trail.

    Climb steeply up to the meadow cirque of Grand Estibère. Leave the trail, which proceeds to Soum Lascours, to gain the little stone hut in the middle of the cirque. Proceed on some narrow trails to the south until you reach the bottom of the little cirque northeast of Soum Arrouy summit. Go to Point 2216 m of the IGN maps and enter the northwestern cirque below Soum Arrouy summit. A narrow trail leads steeply up to the col between Soum Arrouy and Pic de Léviste. Climb the east ridge up to the summit.

    Pic de LévistePic de Léviste from near Col de Tramassel
    Pic de LévisteLac d´Isaby
    Pic de LévisteOn the northern trail near Lac dets Plagnous

    Ortiac trail
    Follow the dirt road into Isaby valley to la Prade, to the Bois d´Isaby and to the lake, where you meet the Hautacam trail. Proceed on that trail as described above. Long trail with 1500 meters of altitude difference.

    Sers trail
    From Sers use the dirt road leading north into the valley coming down from Soum Lascours and Soum Arrouy. Follow the trails to Cabane d´Erès Lagues. Turn left (west) and climb off-trail the col between Soum Arrouy and Soum de Manaout. At the col follow the steep south ridge of Soum Arrouy to its summit.

    There are two possibilities to gain Pic de Léviste summit.

    These are also the variations to summit both peaks whatever trail you are using (!!):

    1.) Follow off trail the west ridge to the col between Soum Arrouy and Pic de Léviste. There is some rock scramble involved (UIAA grade I to II). Don´t climb directly down to the col, stay a bit south of the ridge crest where the rocks are easier. There is a shallow and easy chute which leads down to easier terrain south of the col. Climb the east ridge to Pic de Léviste.
    2.) Follow the east ridge of Soum Arrouy down to the first col. Descend steeply into the northeastern cirque below Soum Arrouy summit. Traverse the cirque and gain a narrow cairned trail which leads to the point 2242 m of the IGN maps and to the Hautacam / Ortiac / Lesponne trail. Go on as described above.

    Pic de LévistePic de Léviste
    Pic de LévisteOn the northern trail, view to Mont Aigue
    Pic de LévisteNortheastern cirque below Soum Arrouy

    Lesponne trail
    At le Chiroulet follow the road and the trail to the west up to Hourquette d´Ouscouaou. At the Hourquette (col) follow one of the trails leading to the south and into Grande Estibère where you reach the Hautacam trail. Follow this trail as described above.

    Pic de LévisteSummit view to Néouvielle
    Pic de LévisteSummit view to the west
    Pic de LévisteSummit view to the east - Pic du Midi

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    Pic de LévisteSoum Arrouy from Léviste summit

    Pic de Léviste is not within a Réserve Naturelle.

    Nevertheless respect the wildflowers, animals and the grazing cattle.

    Lac d´Isaby is a great place for backcountry camping.

    Hotels, bed & breakfast, holyday houses and apartments, campgrounds can be found in every nearby village like

    Luz Saint Sauveur
    Bagnères de Bigorre

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    Pic de LévisteArriving at Pic de Léviste

    Pic de Léviste is a hiking summit, mainly for late spring, summer and autumn.

    You need normal hiking gear, good shoes and a knack for orientation and for off-trail walking. The direct traverse Pic de Léviste – Soum Arrouy needs a short climb of UIAA grade I and II in exposed terrain.

    In my opinion the northern slopes from Lac d´Isaby to Pic de Léviste can be a nice ski tour, too. There is no ski route for this summit in the IGN maps. But with secure avalanche conditions and full ski tour and avalanche gear the north slopes of Pic de Léviste and Soum Lascous from Hautacam road via Grande Estibère can be a great ski adventure.

    Current Weather:

    avalanche bulletin of Hautes Pyrénées

    Maps & Guide Book

    Pic de LévisteSoum Arrouy in clouds


    Good overview:

    IGN 1 : 50.000
    Carte de Randonnées 1 : 50.000, number 4, Bigorre, IGN Rando Editions

    Better for planning and orientation:

    IGN 1 : 25.000
    Number 1647 ET, Lourdes, Argelès-Gazost, Le Lavedan
    Number 1747 ET, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Vallée de Campan
    Number 1748 OT, Gavarnie, Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Parc National des Pyrénées

    Guide Book
    If somebody knows good guide books with Pic de Léviste please add them to the “Additions & Correction” section, I will fill them into that page.