Pico de Aragüells, Aragüells or Eroueil (in France) is a rather visited mountain located in The Aragonese Pyrenees
and the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta.
It's easy to climb and closes the valley of Cregüeña to the E though it is joined to the big Pico Maldito (3.346 m) by Cresta de Cregüeña (Aguja Haurillón 3.075 m, Aguja de Cregüeña 3.043 m and Aguja Juncadella 3.021m). Well, it's only separated with Aguja Juncadella by Collado de Cregüeña (2.905 m). To the W, it's separated to Pico de Pedres Albes (2.998 m) by its unnamed subsidiary peak (2.985 m) and a col (2.941 m). Though Aragüells has been measured with 3.037 m by Juan Buyse's team in the most accepted list of 3000ers in the Pyrenees, other altitudes can be found in different maps: 3.048 m (Henri Baudrimont), 3.044 m (Spanish IGN), 3.030 m (SGE and Alpina).
It was first climbed by Henry Russell with the guide Firmin Barrau on July 7th, 1880. They left Baños de Benasque, reached Ibón (mountain lake) de Cregüeña, Collado de Cregüeña and summit. The first winter climb
was skiing by Jean Arlaud, Grelier, Malignas and Parant on December 28th, 1932.
There are two main mountain bases: Pla de Senarta or Puente de Cregüeña.
Pla de Senarta (1.375 m)
It's a flat area located 6.6 Km over Benasque (Huesca), on the left shore of Río Esera. There is a municipal (not free) camping there. Walk up 8.8 Km or take a bus of Alarsa at the camping entry to Refugio de Coronas (1.990 m). Timetables - Ascent: 5:15, 7:30, 9:15, 11:15, 15:15 and 17:15; descent 6, 8:15, 10, 12, 16 and 18.
From S, W and Central Spain;
reach Huesca, then take N-240 passing Barbastro, N-123 to Embalse (reservoir) de Barasona and A-139, passing Benasque to Pla de Senarta.
From N and NW Spain,
reach Pamplona (Navarra), then NN-240 passing Embalse de Yesa and Jaca (Huesca); N-330 passing Cartirana (2 Km before Sabiñánigo); N-260 passing Biescas, Puerto (pass) de Cotefablo (1.423 m), Ainsa and Puerto de Foradada (1.020 m); A-139 5 Km after Foradada de Toscar to the left; and pass Benasque to Pla de Senarta.
From E and NE Spain,
reach Lleida, take N-230 to Benabarre (Huesca), N-123 to Embalse de Barasona and as "From S,W and Central Spain".
You could also take a bus
of Compañía de Transportes Alto Aragonesa (tel: 974 22 70 11) to Benasque from Monzón (Huesca), Barbastro or Huesca.
The nearest train
station is in Monzón (Huesca), 96 Km from Benasque.
Puente de Cregüeña (1.460 m)
Pass Pla de Senarta on A-139, take the narrow road to Baños de Benasque passing Camping de los Baños. On the first sharp curve to the left take a forest trail that crosses Puente de los Baños first and then Puente de l'Acampamen. Reach Puente de Cregüeña in 200 m. I'd suggest not to leave your car passing the night near Puente de Cregüeña because it could be taken by the police. If you do not want to drive on the forest trail (it's not good for compact cars) there are other possibilities, park just until Puente de los Baños. Or walk 2 Km from Pla de Senarta, passing the Muncipal Camping and in parallel with river Esera, along a forest trail. It's a very pleasant hike, passing through a nice pinewood and having beautiful views over a big cascade of river Esera.
Thus Pla de Senarta and Puente de Cregüeña are joined by that forest trail, it would be worthy (if having more than a day) to ascend in valley of Vallibierna and descend on valley of Cregüeña or the reverse.
The easiest way to approach from France
is crossing the frontier pass between Saint-Beat (France) and Canejan (Spain) to Viella (Lleida), then follow N-230, cross Tunel de Viella to Aneto. Or advance to Villaller (Lleida), turn right taking a little road to Noales, pass Coll d L'Espina (1.407 m) and Coll de Fadas (1.470 m) and Castejón de Sos, and take A-139 passing Benaque to Pla de Senarta or Puente de Cregüeña.
Pico de Aragüells is inside Parque Natural de Posets-Maladeta.
The park have numerous summits that surpass 3.000 meters and up to 13 glaciers in the groups of Posets, Perdiguero and Maladeta, they are the most southern of Europe. The first zone covered by the law in the area was the glacier of Maladeta-Aneto, on 21 March 1990, when it was named (together with the glaciers of Balaitous, Infierno, Vignemale, la Munia, Monte Perdido, Posets and Perdiguero) Monumentos Naturales de los Glaciares Pirenaicos. However on 23 June 1994 Parque Natural de Posets-Maladeta was created, including Macizos de Maladeta and Posets so the protected valleys were: Añes Cruces, Cinqueta, Eriste, Ésera, Estós, Pez, Salenques and Vallibierna. The total surface is now 33.267 Ha / 82,203 acres. Among the flora riches there are 56 endemic plants and 5 high altitude species like Edelweiss, Papaver Alpinum, Saxifraga bryoides
and Silene acaulis.
In the fauna, otters, chamoises (know as sarrios in the area), moutain goats, squirrels, marmots, many species of eagles, bearded vultures, capercaillies, Tengmalm owls, ptarmigans, newts...
No permits are required to visit the Natural Park of Postes-Madaleta or to climb Aragüells. But there are some prohibitions
because of the crowds. It's forbidden to drive on the forest trail of Vallibierna from Plan de Senarta. There are regular buses from Benasque with stops in Plan de Senarta.
When To Climb
In 1858 a thermometer was left on the summit during a year, it showed a minimum of -24ºC / -11F after the winter. In July it registered 3 ºC / 37F during the day but other measurement taken in 1863 was 11ºC / 52F.
The yearly precipitation on Benasque is 1.239 mm and the monthly distribution: J (73.7), F (79.4), Mr (101.2), Ap (90.7), My (132.3), Jn (112.8), Jl (86.3), Ag (95.3), S (115), O (126), N (123.5) and D (103.8). So there is not a real dry season. Total rainy days per year: 71. Total snowy days per year: 21. On the high mountains like Aneto the weather is very thought and there is still no precise data about it. What it's true is that the fog, blizzard, snow and ice are common factors in winter and spring. The autumn also could be bad, at least from October to December, with many rainfalls, hail and even snow. In summer be cautious with evening storms and always be informed at the hut or in Benasque until the climb. Summer is the season with more electric storms. The number of storms per month in Benasque (average) are Jn (3), Jl (4) and Ag (4).
INM weather forecast and snow conditions for The Aragonese Pyrenees.
Get informed of winter road conditions in pages 601 and 611 of "Teletexto" TVE.
CampingRefugio de Coronas (1.990 m):
unguarded, 20 places.
Cabaña del Quillón (1.785 m):
next to the forest trail to Refugio de Coronas, non guarded.
Municipal Camping in Pla de Senarta,
near Camping de los Baños
Hospital de Benasque (1.758 m)
Baños de Benasque (1.680 m)
Little and old spa placed on the forest trail taken from the road A-139, has thermal waters at 30-70ºC / 86-158F and a pool with sulphurous water at 37ºC / 99F (6.50 euro + 3 euro the bathing cap). Private, 47 rooms (single and double), opens from June 15th to October 5th.
Guides: Compañía de Guías Valle de Benasque