This is the normal route to Estaragne, but the path it's not evident and a map is very usefull.
Some meters before arriving at the dam of Cap de Long the exit of the valley d’Estaragne is found indicated with a yellow placard just in the bridge over the river. The parking is small and if it's full we will park in Cap de Long and walking for the road to the trailhead.
Col d'Estaragne Col d'Estaragne
The route go initially in a very wide valley with grassy lands near of the nice peak Mechant in left side. Little by little we'll walk to right side to the hills before a little col. In the col we’ll see the peak Estaragne (rocky ridge always in front of us) and the entry in right side to the slopes what bring to the col. We'll walk to the right, but it exist some possible route in left side more direct to the peak but it's confuse and totally out of path with some terraces of rock. We'll reach a zone with a lot of stones under the gap of the col. After a hard slope among the stones we'll arrive to the upper part but the channel turn to right side. In this point we'll leave the channel following some cairns in left side to the col d’Estaragne
. The access of the col had some easy rock-climbs of grade I not exposed in good rock. The col is narrow and it's not seem a col (really the exit of the channel what we've leaved in the right side is the real col but the terrain is bad and without path) and we don't see the options to follow.
It's necessary to know what the normal route (easiest) suppose the descent to the bottom of the ridge in the other side of the col. If you don’t know this circumstance the most evident exit of the col is turning to left side getting the ridge (grade F.sup. with a step crossing exposed of I+ in bad terrain just in the middle). The descent is easy with the use of the hands in a vertical hillside with little terraces to reach the bottom (exposed with snow).
We'll walk now in parallel to the ridge searching some path among the great quantity of stones. This zone generally had snow early in the season but is a very wide area and is easy to search the best point to traverse it. In direction to the col with the peak Cambpbieil we'll search the path in the stones before the col in left side. The path had a hard slope but it's only rest this 90 meters to the summit. After a bad terrain of free stones we'll reach the summit of Estaragne with wonderful views of all the peaks of the massif of Pic Long.
The descent is generally following the same route, but if we have much time it's possible to follow to the peak Campbieil using for the descent the route to Cap de Long, walking the road to parking of Estaragne. Many mountaineers make the climb of both peaks in the same day.
Crampons and ice-axe from november to june generally.
In summer (july to september) it's not neccesary nothing special.
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