It's apparently easy to miss the Portillón. We'd got up to the False Portillón (below) from where I think you can also get down onto the glacier, but it's not the normal route. We were 20minutes on the way to Maladeta before realising our mistake. Met 4 guys who had also made the same error, but had gone on up much further before realising. They were done-in, but decided to return to the Portillon with us. There we met a couple with clipboard, doning a questionaire about mountain safety. Yes, we had a first aid kid with us. Yes, we knew how long the route was, and yes we'd got a map and compass with us too. And yes, we did a lot of mountains in summer.
From then on we were - amazing for Aneto - on our own. The 4 guys turned back. It took us an hour to reach the glacier across an interminable boulderfield. The glacier - well, we couldn't follow the footprints of folk who had gone before, as you are told to do, because we couldn't see footprints. But we got up as high as we could and then the route was simply horizontal for a bit. We didn't do too badly for first time with crampons. The rest is history (told in other log).
Coming down, we took a diagonal route across the glacier to the Portillon, this time following footprints (but remembering that there is another route that descends to Barrancs, which is not the way we wanted to go). From the Portillón we found the more straightforward path down (which would have been easier for the ascent, not passing the Falsa Brecha). It was a long, long day. We got down just before sundown at 20:30h. Not planned, but we managed to get a second night at the Renclusa and left very early the next morning to catch the first bus out from La Besurta to the car.
Pirinees highest peak!.. Couldn't ask for better weather. We Héloïse and I) started at 5:30 am from La Renclusa Hut. The snow was soft but the snowshoes made our climb easier at the begining. Can't say the same about the traverse after Portillon Superior, we had to take our snowshoes off during the traverse to the glacier.
No problems at Paso de Mahoma, nice scrambling up! I got to the top just after the clouds rolled in.
Got back to the hut (to pick up my sleeping bag) via Aigualluts. Total climbing time: 12 hours RT. Beautiful mountain.
Guiding Medical Doctor Ulloa, the Spanish specialist in mountain medicine, up to his 16th summit of his project 'The 17 summits'(the highests tops of each of the 17 Spanish regions). Very arduous walk through extense boulder fields before reaching Portillon Superior (difficult to find when you have not been there before) and after this pass up till the glacier. 13 hours of activity. Summit at 14:00 hrs (after 7 hours of walk). Luckily, weather turned to good after midday (rare in the Pyrenees).
My brother Gabi and me started from La Besurta at 4h30am and reached the Aneto's summit at 9h30am. Passage of Mahoma was done without rope and with decisiveness. We were back in La Besurta at 13h20pm. Weather was excellent during all the adventure. We celebrated with Suso in Benasque this excellent climb. Our second 3000m.