Caps dera Baquo Ridge of Baquo
Caps dera Baquo
The peaks dera Baquo are situated between the cols of Puerto de Oô and Portillon de Oô, two important passes between the areas of Luchon (France) and Benasque (Spain), with two nearby refuges, refuge du Portillon (France) and refuge de Estós (Spain). In this nice ridge the glacier in the North face have eroded the ridge with great cuts making a spectacular landscape.
Origin of the name
: in the old language of the area the name mean "cow's glacier", because the peak has the aspect of a cow from the valley of Oô (North) and the small glacier under the summits is visible. In some maps you can see the traslations Seil de la Baque (French) or Cillo de la Vaca (Spanish), but I don't like it. I prefer the use of the original and older name. The recent maps use the original name and the official list of peaks of 3.000m as well. You can call the mountain as you prefer but in the last year the mountaineers of both sides of Pyrenees prefer the use of the original if it exists. In the peaks just in the border is complicated and generally the French people use your name and the Spanish people another one. Seil dera Baquo is an excepcion because this areas of Valley of Oô and the nearby valley of Aran had an own language. This language is very forgotten nowadays but I prefer this denomination. It's a personal election.
The main peaks are Seil dera Baquo (3.110m) and Pico Portillon de Oô (3.050m), but the official list of peaks of 3000m includes the followings six summits (from West to East) with its routes:
-Pic Audoubert (3.045m)
: ridge West (P.D.), glacier of Baquo (F.sup.)
-Cap dera Baquo Occidental (3.097m)
: Audoubert (P.D.), glacier dera Baquo (F.sup.)
-Cap dera Baquo Oriental (3.103m)
: cap Occidental (F.sup.), seil dera Baquo (P.D.inf.)
-Seil dera Baquo (3.110m)
: cap Oriental (P.D.inf.), pequeño Pico Portillon (F.sup.)
-Pequeño pico Portillon de Oô (3.000m)
: seil dera Baquo (F.sup.), Pico Portillon (P.D.sup.)
-Pico Portillon (3.050m)
: pequeño Pico Portillon (P.D.sup.), portillon de Oô (P.D.inf.)
Ridge of Baquo
The most difficult point of the full ridge is the gap between Pequeño Pico Portillon and Pico Portillon with a pass of III (P.D.sup.) and it's necessary a rappel to descent to the gap. A lot of mountaineers climb Seil dera Baquo and Pico Portillon in different days but the rock-climbers make the full ridge in the same day (more than 10 or 11 hours).
-France: Refuge du Portillon
(2.570m) with access from Granges d'Astau. 4h 30m of walk.
-Spain: Refugio de Estós
(1.890m) with access from Benasque's valley. 2h of walk.
French side: Access to Granges d’Astau
-French: the approach to the village of Montréjeau had good highways. The access to Montréjeau is in the road A-64 (E-80) between Tarbes and Toulousse. From Montréjeau we’ll follow to Bagnères de Luchon. In Luchon we'll follow the signals “Col de Peyresourde”. After 2-3 km in the village of Cazeaux de Larboust is the entry to the road of Granges d’Astau (1160m).
-Spanish: the access is possible at West in tunnel of Bielsa, or at the East, in the tunnel of Vielha.
-Approach to Bielsa: from Huesca to Ainsa. In Bielsa you'll take the tunnel of Aragnouet-Bielsa to France. It's necessary to reach the village of Arreau to turn to the east to Val Louron, the first valley of Luchon, or following across the Col of Peyresourde (1569m) and before of Bagnères de Luchon is the access (see above).
-Approach to Vielha: from the city of Lleida to village of Pont de Suert (N-230), and across the tunnel of Vielha you'll reach the valley of Aran. Before the village of Bosost is the road to Col du Portillon (1293m) to cross the border to France. The road D-618 go directly to Bagnères-de-Luchon.
Spanish side: access to Benasque
-From Zaragoza to Huesca (72 km), highway. From Huesca to Benasque (138 km) for the N240 to Barbastro. Take N123 and N123a to Graus. In Graus take to left for A139 to direction Benasque/Cerler.
-From Barcelona: highway A2 to Lleida (or Lérida). From Lleida take N230. Continue by N123 in direction Torres del Obispo and more to Graus.
In the village of Benasque you follow in direction to Hospital de Benasque and Cerler. After the crossroad of Cerler near of the Camping Aneto is the entry to Valley of Estós with a signal. You must drive in the forest track for 1 km to reach the small parking.
The access to the peak is possible across the ridge of Audoubert (P.D.) or across the glacier dera Baquo (F.sup). In the first option you don't need generally crampons, but if you don't make rock-climbs you need a rope. The glacier is small but you need crampons and ice-axe in summer to cross the ice (in spring some days the snow is in good conditions to cross without crampons but you can't climb early in the morning and you must climb in the hot part of the day).
-French side: Camping in vivouac it's allowed at 1 hour of some refuge but it's not a good option because it exist refuges keepeds are in the routes.
-Spanish side: it's not possible the free camping in the park of Posets-Maladeta.
The better option are the refuges of Portillon and Estós.
External LinksParque Natural Posets Maladeta