On the Border between Spain and France
The Pyrenean peak of Pico de la Mina and it's nearby twin Salvaguardia provide the 'gateposts' of the Portillon de Benas. This is on the border between Spain and France. Salvaguardia is 30 metres higher than Pico de la Mina but they are both interesting ascents.
The Primary image shows both of these peaks looking from the south, Pico de la Mina being on the right hand side.
The obvious notch between them marks the border crossing at the Portillon de Benas (2445 metres)
Zig Zag trail from Plan d'Estan
A straitforward ascent from the Spanish side can be made from the Plan d'Estan with a height gain of 872 metres. Follow the zig zag trail from the Plan to a high plateau.
The high plateau
The ramp to the ridge
Scramble up the ridge
From the plateau, ascend a ramp to the ridge and follow this with some hands-on scrambling to the flat top of the peak.
The last few metres
The last few metres are flat as a billiard table.
On the summit
Then sit back and enjoy the fantastic views.
The awe inspiring sight of Aneto. it's glacier and the Maladeta range from the top make the climb very worthwhile.
Aneto and the Maladeta
Access is via the Town of Benasque.
A road up the Esera valley leads to La Besurta and parking is permitted at the Plan d'Estan.
In summer season a bus is available from the town.
Wild camping overnight is generally not allowed in the National Park although if you're packed up and away in the early hours you are not going to have problems.
(leave no traces of your presence behind and take your rubbish home with you)
There are a number of campsites in the valley of Benasque and of course there is the excellent Renclusa refugio
close at hand.
Follow the normal rules of the National Park.
No Red Tape except possible road closures in the event of heavy snow.
Camping and Refugios
Camp sites are plentiful in the Esera valley above Benasque.
The nearest Spanish refugio is that of La Renclusa below the Maladeta.
In France, the refuge of Benasque (CAF) lies to the north of the frontier crossing.