The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 3 september 2010 -
Lost in the mist

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Summary: part of a 11-days backpacking trip from Cauterets to Loudenvielle ‘doing” bm315 to bm330. Day 10: in a large semi-circle from Vallée de la Pez to Refuge la Soula, finally a tough climb to bm330.

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

Start: 9.15, break: 12.15-13.30, finish: 19.30, net walking time: 9 hours
According to the gp-tripteller:
Distance: 21,7 km
Time moved: 6.16h
Time standing still: 4.13h
In total: 10.29h
Total ascent: 1165m
Maximum height: 2579m

According to visugpx
- distance : 14.23 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1291 m
- cum. elevation loss : 759 m
- total elevation:  2050

- altitude maxi : 2607 m
- altitude mini : 1350 m
- altitude average : 1862 m
From my camping-spot, descending down the valley



and into a refreshing forest untill a sign pointing to Refuge de Soula, taking the “lacets” and not the steep shortcut.
Along the trail, a lot of interesting information panels about nature and the history of this mountain region.
I like roadside chapels likes this one: it's devoted to "Notre dame de la Garde".
It was built when this path - the "chemin de Clarabide" - into the mountains was constructed in the beginning of the 19th century. 
Lunch with cassoulet at the refuge (the little building left to the large electricity-generator one).

They don’t sell provisions so this will be my last day, I decide.
After the refuge there's a trail climbing uphill and delivering you at this valley-floor

Later on, after the climb at the end of this picture and arriving and continuing at a second valley-floor, there's a steep trail to the left.

I follow that rocky trail to Lac de Pouchergues. No signs, only cairns.
Circling the lac and continuing on the trail, it shows that the trail apparently leads to Lac de Clarabide and not to Port de Clarabide.

Then I try a straight line to the Port de Clarabide

(Move the mouse over the picture to see where Port de Clarabide is and approximately my ascent.)

which means a long and difficult climb over stones and boulders.

A bit scary, I allmost got my foot caught by a tumbling rock. 
At the end I reach the foot of the final climb to the Port.

Cairns and a sort of trail to the Port itself have appeared.
At the port, the cross is at the westside: bm330.

BUT: in september 2012 I will learn that this cross should be considered as bm330bis

Read the full story at the curiosities-page.

Bm330 or bm330bis
Bm330bis, hardly visible at this picture.

There's a rectangular enclosure right at the pass itself.
The Spanish side seems more manageable, I see no waymarks or cairns.

I go back and try to follow the cairns to know where the real ‘trail’ is. Clouds drift in and limit my vision. The cairns-trail takes the grassy parts if possible.

However, suddenly I realize that I’m not returning to the lake but heading nw into the adjoining valley. At that point, I’ve already lost the cairns.

Meanwhile, a stream nearby has appeared and I stop and pitch my tent , it’s already 19.30.

Camp N42 42 01.1 E000 26 13.3 H2195
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