The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : the GRPdesBF
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- stage 19 -
 
Embalsa de Respomuso - Valle del Ara (bm312-314)

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Only the bordermarkers along this stage are shown (and some adjoining ones). The main route is red, the variants have other colors. The main route provides a smooth on-going route along most bordermarkers, the variants give access to the remaining bordermarkers. See the GRPdesBF-principles.
Click here for an fullscreen interactive map.

In short
In this stage the main route crosses two high mountain passes and descends twice to lovely valleys. Wayfinding is no problem. Variant 1 is an easy hence & forth trip to Port de la Peyre St-Martin (bm312). The second variant visiting bm313 takes a bit more care in navigating from the main route to Port du  Marcadeau.

Considerations
You start in a valley, pass through a valley and end up in a valley where there's plenty of water and bivouac opportunities. The stage ends at a simple cabin (refugio labaza).

Factsheet
Routes
Km
Heights:
min - max
Heights:
start-finish
Cum. pos.
elevation
Cum. neg.
elevation
Cum. total
elevaton
Time
Bm's
covered
main route
20,5
1803-2681 2146-1804
1497
1839
3336
9:09
1
incl. all variants 26,7
1803-2681
idem
1929
2481
4410
11:57
3
variant 1 via
bm312
2,8
(+2,5)
2160-2325
2162-2196
202
172
374
(+336)
1:10
(+1:03)
1
variant 2 via
bm313
5,4
(+3,7)
1936-2551
2457-1936
270
791
1061
(+738)
2:27
(+1:46)
1
- the main route is a smooth trail along the border and most of the bordermarkers (within 100m reach of the main route)
- the variants allow you to visit the remaining bordermarkers
- altitudes are derived from corrected NASA SRTM3 datab with GPS-Track-Analyse.NET
- km & elevations statistics computed in Basecamp.
- time according to
Naismith's rule with average speed 4km/h; 10 min. extra for every 100m ascent and 5 min. extra for every 100m descent. Don't forget: this is a rough estimation.
- (+ or -) = extra km & elevation & time compared to continuing on the main route)
* = including overlap of 1 bm with previous stage
Bm's
covered
cumulative:
332
Bm's cum.
on main route:
225

Gps-files needed

kml/kmz
gpx (with
altitudes added)
Waypoints of all esfr-bordermarkers esfr-bordermarkers-all-waypoints.kml
gpx-version
Track of this stage grpdesbf-312-314-vs02.kml
gpx-version

Version 02
July 2014. If you have any correction, suggestion etcetera -> please email me: eefberns@grenspalen.nl


MAPS AND DIRECTIONS
You might check the relevant webpages in the 'All markers'-section and 'All my trips'-section for more pictures of the bordermarkers and wayfinding-issues.

Print your own maps
It's easy to print your own - custom made - maps with the GRPdesBF-route and the bordermarkers on them.
See: Print your own maps

The Refugio de Respomuso is our starting point. The refugio is a bit off the GR11-trail.

There's a shortcut from the refuge to the GR11 as shown on this picture: continue past the refuge for 75m and climb E along a tiny stream to the GR11.
The GR11 will bring you smoothly to the lake of Embalse de Campo Plano.
Having arrived at a concrete wall, looking forward to the Embalse de Campo Plane. We leave the GR11 at this point.

The red trail is the main route of the GRPdesBF continuing to Col de la Fache. The blue trail is the hence & forth variant to bm312,





On this panoram we can see very well the GRPdesBF-routes to be taken. The main route (red) will climb to Col de la Fache, the blue route (variant) climbs hence and forth to Port de la Peyre St-Martin to cover bm312.
The Campo Plano makes a perfect place for a bivouac including a stream for fresh water.

This picture: looking ahead towards the trail to Col de la Fache. There's a waysign pointing to it.
Variant 1 via bm312
From that grass plain it's an easy stroll to the Port de la Peyre St. Martin.
After a short climb, the pass is long stretched with at the end:
the green borderpass itself with bm312.
Bm312
Descending back to the grassy plains near the lake.

Near a distinct rounded hill, there's a sign pointing to Col de la Fache.
End of variant 1
It's a long and nice climb towards Col de la Fache.
Finally, I arrive at this lake, just underneath the Col de la Fache.

From bm312 to this Col takes about 2 hours.
When descending from Col de la Fache you'll reach a grassy part after the first rocky descent. To the right you'll see a lake below.

The main route is straight to Refuge Wallon, to the right you can traverse (variant 2) to bm313.

The two routes part at a small hill.
A bit further, the trail reaches this hillock.

The main trail - to Refuge Wallon - goes left along this hillock,
while variant 2 (the shortcut) leads you to the right.

The main route descends untill a little bridge, 15 minutes away from the Refuge Wallon.


The descent from Col de la Fache to the Refuge  takes 1 hours according to a sign.

This picture: the  Refuge Wallon already visible in the valley.
Variant 2 via bm313
The spot where variant 2 (shortcut) branches off the main route.
So: just before that hillock, leave the main trail and go right along that hillock.

Then descend along a little stream (streaming to the lake) untill halfway that stream.

Then you are more or less at the same level as the 'diagonal passage' at the othere side.

Now head to that diagonal passage, passing some rock-slides and climbing to it.
After that diagonal passage, pick up a cairns-trail which will lead you to the distinct trail from Refuge Wallon to Port de Marcadau

This shortcut between the two trails takes approximately hour. The start and end of this shortcut are indicated on the IGN-25k maps.

When having arrived at the trail coming from the valley, go right and climb to Port de Marcadau.
Bm313 from some distance (the rockpile at the left)
Bm313

From Col de la Fache to Port de Marcadau is 1 hour.
Then descend towards Refuge Wallon and join the main route.
End of variant 2
From Refuge Wallon, it will take you 2.30h  climbing to Port d’Arretille. On this picture in the distance somewhere on the ridge.

Overall, the trail is well waymarked by cairns + in the last part from the lake onwards white and white/red/white waymarks. 
You will pass this beautiful lake (Lac d'Arratille).


The last part is well waymarked (white-red). This picture: looking back at Lac d'Arratille.
Almost at the Col
Bm314

Located a bit to the west of the trail.

From the Col looking into Spain.

Then descending into Spain, the white/red/white-waymarking bends however to the left.

So – when descending southwards into the vally – there’s mostly no trail besides an occasional cairn.

However, that’s no problem. Keep to the right side of the stream but not too close.
Later on there’s a valley coming from the right.

At the confluence of both streams from both valleys, you will join the GR11 coming from that valley from the right.
Follow the GR11 downstream until this cabin (refugio labaza).
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