The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 20 august 2011 -
The Table of the Three Kings

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

Summary: part of a 3-weeks trip to the Pyrénées to 'do' the ± 60 remaining bordermarkers. All done as daytrips from campings.

Day 6: A trip to the 'Table des Trois Rois",‭ ‬‭ ‬with the target of finding a route from the table to bm272. This must be my longest Pyrenees-trip until now.

Weather: blazing sun,‭ ‬very hot
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

En route‭ (‬±‭)‬:‭ ‬8.30-19.45‭ (‬11.15h‭)

According to the gps-tripteller:‭
‬Distance:‭  ‬26,0‭ ‬km
Cum.‭ ‬elevation gain‭ ‬:‭ ‬2648m
Total elevation:5296m
Mamimum height: 2439m
Time:‭ ‬11.10h

According to visugpx

‬-‭ ‬distance‭ ‬:‭ ‬23,4km‭
‬-‭ ‬cum.‭ ‬elevation gain‭ ‬:‭ ‬1954m‭
‬-‭ ‬cum.‭ ‬elevation loss‭ ‬:‭ ‬1955m‭
‬-‭ ‬total elevation:‭  ‬3909m‭

‬-‭ ‬altitude maxi‭ ‬:‭ ‬2397m‭
‬-‭ ‬altitude mini‭ ‬:‭ ‬957m‭
‬-‭ ‬altitude average‭ ‬:‭ ‬1682m
Start from the parking at Pont de Masousa and climbing in the direction of‭ Cabanes de Ansabère.

When those cabanes come in sight,‭ ‬I take a forest road/trail to the right to Cabane de Pedain and arrive in this valley

From the cabane,‭ ‬up the valley along the stream,‭ ‬later on a cairns-trail with some red waymarks,

to Col d‭’‬Esqueste.‭ ‬And that‭’‬s a steep and tough climb.
At the col I follow the cairns to the right which climbs to the foot of Pic des Trois Rois and the Table des Trois Rois.

This picture: looking NEE to the Table. This is the ancient tripoint of Navarra,‭ Aragon ‬and‭ France, mentioned as such in the Procès Verbal.

But where is exactly the Table? We see a distinct Pic and a flattened and tilted plateau east of the Pic.
‭ ‬There seems to be some confusion if the Table des Troi Rois of the Procès-Verbal is located on the Pic or on that plateau.
Well, the Table of the Procès-Verbal is the tripoint. Thus: where the borderline is, is the Table.
However: the various French and  Spanish maps show the esfr-border differently. See further on this page. For this moment: the Pic is the Pic, the Table is that plateau.
Looking back at in the direction of Col d‭’‬Esqueste.
And there is more in life than bordermarkers.
I've proceeded further, this picture - looking back from the foot of the Pic - showing the terrain you have to traverse when coming from Col d'Esqueste.
That‭ '‬foot of Pic des trois rois‭’‬ is in fact a sort of pass between the Pic and the ridge to the west .‭ ‬From there I descend to the N to see if there‭’‬s a trail in the direction of bm272‭ ‬but there‭’‬s none.

This picture: looking in the direction of Col d'Anaye and Pic d'Anie.

‬I return to the‭ '‬pass‭’‬.‭ ‬There are many walkers,‭ ‬arriving on a well path from the west and heading for the pic and the table.‭ ‬A popular daytrip.
First I walk - alongside the steep slope of the Pic - to the Table ‭ ‬
One can imagine that this tilted plateau got the name 'Table".

The Table offers splendid views of the French valleys below,‭ ‬views which give ideas for routes. This picture: looking down on Lac de Llurs. One idea seems promising:

View is W. Click to here to see an enlargement.
Red line:‭ ‬from Col d‭’‬Anaye‭ (‬bm272‭) ‬descending to sources de Marmitou,‭ ‬then climbing SEE to a sort of Col,‭ ‬then descending S to a bit W of Lac de Lhurs. From there,‭ ‬there‭’‬s a trail‭ (‬according to the map of‭ ‬„La senda de Camille‭“‬) leading to an unnamed Col‭.‭ ‬From that col,‭ ‬descend to the lower bunch‭ (‬of the two‭) ‬of big boulders up in the valley,‭ ‬then climb S to a sort of ridge going semicircle around a kind of bowl.‭ ‬There‭’‬s a trail on the ridge,‭ ‬leading to Col de Petrageme (bm273). From bm273, it's a semi-circle to bm274.
Blue line: a shortcut via Cols des Ourtets to the Table des Trois Rois to the Col d'Esqueste, described in the HRP-guide of Georges Véron.
A view from the Table to the N with the  Pics de Peneblanque in front and Pic d'Anie in the background.
And from the Table a view of the Pic, with a lot of walkers on top of it.
It's time to return to the question where the borderline is and thus the Table des Trois Rois.

This is a French IGN-map, unfortunately vague on the Spanish side.

But if we combine it with an orthoimage-layer. we can see that the border follows the tilted plateau and not the Pic.
Then a Spanish map - copied from the Sitna-site - which shows the same borderline. Note the difference between the 'Pico' and the 'Mesa' (=table).
But - strangely enough - if we zoom in, the borderline is different: via the Pic which is suddenly renamed to 'Mesa'.

Note: this is the borderline of Navarra but N of the Mesa that should be the esfr-border.
And finally a map from the Aragon Sitar-site which shows two versions of the esfr-borderline, the grey one similar to the IGN-one.

My conclusion: the esfr-border passes  the tilted plateau west of the Pic des Trois Rois and that's thé Table des Trois Rois.

Another panorama: now looking south. At the far right: the Pic des Trois Rois. And the route / shortcut I will take to bm273 after descending from Col d'Esqueste.
Then I climb the Pic des Trois Rois,‭ ‬ornamented with the model of a castle

(It's the castle of Javier, the birthplace of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Navarre,  so I was told by one Angel Serrona)‭ ‬‭
and a statue of Saint Xavier himself.
and for one moment with me.

A last view from the Pic, looking N to - again - Pics de Peneblanque in front and Pic d'Anie in the background. Just beyond the Pics the Peneblanque, there's the Col des Ourtets which should give access to the Table.

‭ ‬I return to Col d‭’‬Escoueste and try a shortcut to Col de Petragème-‭ ‬also spotted from above at the Table des trois rois.‭  I descend to the lower bunch‭ (‬of the two‭) ‬of big boulders,‭ ‬then climb S to a sort of ridge going semicircle around a kind of bowl.‭ ‬
There‭’‬s a trail on the ridge,‭ ‬
leading to Col de Petragème‭ with  ‬bm273‭.


Then I descend back into France and semicircle on a well trail to Col de Chourique

with ‬bm274‭




This picture: I've descended back into France in the direction of Cabanes de Ansabère.

I look back to the two passes with bm273 and bm274.

Cabanes de Ansabère, one of them is meant for hikers.

Then finishing with a long,‭ ‬long descent to my car. And back to my basecamp in Urdos.
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