The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 10 september 2010 -
Starting from Hospice de France

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Summary: part of a 3-days trip around Hospice de France near Bagnères-de-Luchon, exploring bm331 to bm359. First day: climbing the Port de Venasque with bm332 and through Spain returning in France and continue untill bm340.

Weather: splendid
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

Start: 10.45, break: 12.30-13.00, finish: 17.45, net walking time: 6½ hours
According to the gps-tripteller:
Distance: 17,0 km
Time moved: 5.08h
Time standing still: 1.53h
In total: 7.01h
Total ascent: 1510m
Maximum height: 2467m

According to visugpx
- distance : 15.74 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1419 m
- cum. elevation loss : 896 m
- total elevation:  2315

- altitude maxi : 2488 m
- altitude mini : 1378 m
- altitude average : 2090 m
Coming from Lourdes, I park my car at Hospice de France.

I climb easily to refuge Venasque.

On this picture: the pass to climb in the distance.
Looking back to Hospice de France. The path is good and with its many lacets not steep, 
A sort of milestone along this classic passage into Spain.
I'm close to the refuge and looking back. The hill-ridge in the distance is the borderridge where I will walk tomorrow.
And in the middle of this zoom-in there's the Col de Barèges where bm356 should be.
A short break at the Refuge de Venasque.
And continuing past this lake to Col de Venasque.
Beyond the lake looking back.
A monument on the Port.


Above the monument, there’s a cross with F and E but no engraved number but a painted one.

It’s on the east side of the ‘brèche’ as it should be according to the Procès Verbal but the absence of an engraved number is uncommon.
An overview of the pass with bm332.
Bm332, close-up

In march 2011 I will learn that in 2002 the Commission Mixte d'Abornement was presented with photographical evidence that the second "3" was in fact a "5".  It was agreed that the French delegation would take care of the modification. Read it in these proceedings.

From the information panel on the monument:

Being called the "Port Vieux" in the 16th century, it replaced the Port de Glère (with bm331) on the Luchon - Vénasque route.
The pass itself was artificially adjusted to facilitate the passage. During the French-Spanish war 1793-1795 a surveillance post was constructed here.
From the beginning of the 19th century the commercial use of this trail diminished rapidly.
I descend and then take a trail (waymarked, just beyond a sort of km-sign (Luchon-Venasque) to the left (west) in the direction of Pas de l’Escalette.

But first you pass the Port dera Picada (that’s the one you see from here, at the Port de Venasque).
The Port dera Picada getting nearer, following trail nr.23.
And looking back at Port de Venasque.
From the Port dera Picada the next pass - Pas de l’Escalette - is visible.
Approaching the Pas de l’Escalette

First there's bm333, on the summit in the background  is bm334

Bm334 on the summit.
Then it’s following the path - a sort of shortcut - descending to bm335. 
Bm335, just off the path 
and descending to bm336 on pass Pas de la Mounjoye.
Bm336 with its metal frame
I leave the path and will follow the border-ridge untill Roumingau with bm340.

This stretch of border-ridge (with bm337-339 on it) requires a steepclimb to get on it. Encircling that first Pic at the east-side might make it easier

But first along bm337


Looking forward along the border-ridge to Pic de Roye with


A fine view back at the borderridge.

Move the mouse over the picture to see where Pas de l 'Escalette is.



At the end of this ridge, there's a steep slope, I descend at the west-side of it and continue

to spot bm340 in the distance



Looking back to that steep hill slope.

I start looking around for a suitable camping-spot and water.
Interesting: at this point the borderline ignores the watershed and makes a shortcut on the west-side of it.

Camp N42 42 56.6 E000 40 40.7 H1893m
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