The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 8 september 2010 -
Into the karst-crevasses

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(click to open in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps;
click right on this link to download gpx-version

Summary: part of a 3-days exploring trip around Arette La Pierre St-Martin.Third day: from bm262 to bm270 and a bit further, difficult terrain.

Weather: overall cloudy and fresh, in the afternoon the clouds blown away, giving more overview
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

Start: 9.15, break: no, finish: 17.30, net walking time: 8.15
According to the gp-tripteller:
Distance: 17,1 km
Time moved: 5.57h
Time standing still: 2.35h
In total: 8.32h
Total ascent: 989m
Maximum height: 2145m

According to visugpx
- distance : 14.4 km
- cum. elevation gain : 640 m
- cum. elevation loss : 645 m
- total elevation:  1285 m

- altitude maxi : 2264 m
- altitude mini : 1753 m
- altitude average : 1972 m
Another daytrip from Arette La Pierre St. Martin. Target: bm270 and further. I start near bm262.

But first I drive to bm256, I had the impression that it had been changed since last year  when I passed it on the day before yesterday.

But on second sight I believe it hasn’t.

Parking my car near bm262 en heading up the hill.

This is a bordermarker in his own right.
Via bm263 
and bm264, both easily found with my gps, 
I walk to Col d’Arlas, pick up the yellow trail and continue to Col de Pescamou with bm265
and further to Col de Boticotch with bm266.

The yellow trail descends into the karst-crevasses and is - so I will learn later - a more eastern approach to Pic d’Anie. 
Heading to Pic du Soum Couy
Looking ahead to the trail at the slope of Pic du Soum Couy

I keep following that trail untill approximately the ridge of the hill which is approximately the Col des Anies.
But at that point, I'm getting too far away from the bm270-waypoint.

I try a trail (only cairns-waymarked) in the direction of bm270
- while chamois watch me -
that turns out to be a shortcut to a more western ‘red’ trail. 
I follow that one to the south. It descends into the karst-crevasses but leave it when bm270 gets further away on my gps.

I climb through and over the crevasses in the direction of the waypoint.

On a sort of plateau of tilted rock-layers, I then notice a cairn. It seems to be the highest point.

And it is bm270 !


Meanwhile, the clouds are blown away, giving more overview and a better orientation.

I return to the red trail and continue that but it seems another trail to Pic d’Anie.

Back down the trail and then trying to get to bm271. I pass close  to bm270 (highest point on this picture) but traversing the crevassed plateau takes far too long. I decide to stop and return.

In 2013 Jaques Koleck wrote me how he in 2009 went straight - from bm270 - south in the direction of bm271bis: "it wasn't allways easy but it was amusing".
On my way back, I stumble upon a cairns-waymarked trail that joins later the red trail, approximately at this point.

I believe you're looking in SW-direction on this picture.
So: at entering that crevassed plateau from the north, there’s a bifurcation: the red trail bends to the left and descends into the crevasses, the cairns-trail goes to the south-west.

No idea where it leads to but it’s more or less in the direction of bm271.

I'm not sure but I believe that this metal pole is at the bifurcation.

I return on the red trail and see on the hillridge in the distance
a bordermarker, it must be bm269
Further back on the red trail, red changes in fluorescent orange untill the point where the yellow and red/orange trail parted earlier.

And that's here.

There’s a metal pole with broken-off signs. So: the yellow trail bends at this point to the left and descends in the crevasses while the orange/red trail goes straight on. The latter is the better one (coming from Col de Pescamou) because it stays close to the bordermarkers.

Further on, looking back in southern direction to that hill-ridge with bm267

Walking back on the orange or sometimes violet trail, I pass once again Col d'Arlas.

There it strikes me that there's a source, the only one I've seen so far in this area. Water is scarce here, disappearing easily in the karst bottom.

Continuing the trail - now with yellow waymarks, if I remember well - it brings me to near bm262, along that empty house or cabin.

This view is interesting.
for it gives a sort of bird's eye view of where bm261 is and how to approach it, as I found out yesterday.

Move the mouse over the picture to see where.

For a third night, I sleep in Refuge Jeandell. Every night they cook spaghetti. Pouring rain at night and the next morning. Too worse to continue in this area. So I return to Lourdes the next morning.
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