The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- tuesday 2 september 2014 -
Three cols, two refuges

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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 2-weeks trip along the entire Pyrenees, focussing on high altitude reconnaissance of parts of my GRPdesBF-trail.

Second day of a two-days trip exploring the trails between bm311 (Col de Sobe) and bm312 (Port de la Peyre St-Martin).
Today: via Col d'Arrious, Col d'Arrémoulit and Port de la Peyre St-Martin back to Val d'Aste.

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

Start: 7.15, break: 14.15-15.00, finish: 19.30, net walking time: 11.30h

Gps-tripteller: no stats due to partial gps-failure

According to visugpx

- distance : 24,8 km
- cum. elevation gain : 991m
- cum. elevation loss : 1892m
- total elevation: 2883m

- altitude maxi : 2446m
- altitude mini : 1400m
- altitude average : 2128m

Early start.

From my bivouac-spot, I walk back in the direction of Col de Sobe.
But I don't go that far because I visited bm311 yesterday.

This spot (with the boulder to the left) is where I have to make a sharp bend to proceed to Col d'Arrious.

This panorama shows the approximate course of the route
Soon the Col d´Arriou comes in sight.

But the trail doesn't head directly to the Col (slope too steep as you can see) but takes a course via the Lac d'Arriou.

It then joins the main route at Col d'Arrious unless the Passage d'Orteig provides a manageable shortcut to the Lacs d'Arrémoulit. I want to check that.
I'm at the Lac d'Arriou, looking S.

To the left the trail which brings me to the
famous Passage d'Orteig (blue dotted line) which is a shortcut between Lac d'Arriou and Lacs d'Arrémoulit.

I want to see if that's an option for me and the average GRPdesBF-walker.
It's a dangerous-looking passage above a precipice. There are cables to secure your passage

I have a look and doubt for a while but it's too vertiginous for me and - thus, so I decide - for the GRPdesBF.
Then back to the lake and proceeding to Col d'Arriou and doing the easy descent/climb to the Lacs d'Arrémoulit via the 'normal' route.

This picture: the Lac d'Artouste to the left and the trail climbing to the Lacs d'Arrémoulit.
Arriving at the first of the several Lacs d'Arrémoulit.

The Col d'Arrémoulit comes in sight.
The next one is the largest.

There's a refuge here.

Zoom-in of previous picture.
From the refuge – along the lake – a trail starts with a vague beginning but later on with more cairns.

The trail climbs through rockfalls (well waymarked with cairns) 
to Col d'Arrémoulit.
From Col d'Arrémoulit, it's a steep, steep descent to the lakes of 'Ibones de Arriel'.
This is the first lake
and this is the second (the trail now going along the left side of the lake).
Beyond the second lake, a 'paved' path takes you along
this waysign. And that's my destination: the lake of Respomuso
which now comes in view in the far distance.

The trail so far is mainly rocky like this: loose cobbles which make walking a tiring experience.
Then the trail arrives at the lake and joins the GR11-trail.

The GR11 brings you along Refugio de Respomuso which is a bit off the GR11. 

Lunchbreak at the refuge.
After the lunch continuing to the lake of Embalse de Campo Plano.

Navigating is easy, the GR11 will bring you there.

There's a shortcut from the refuge to the GR11: continue past the refuge for ±75m and climb E along a tiny stream to the GR11.
The trail is now easier to walk on
and brings me smoothly to the lake of Embalse de Campo Plano.
Just before a long concrete wall, the GR11 bends to the right.

I part from the GR11 and continue on the other side of the wall on a trail to the lovely grassy plains of Campo Plano.

NB: the red line = the main route of the GRPdesBF, the blue line the 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:
this one.

But I continue to Port de la Peyre St-Martin.
It's a short climb towards Port de la Peyre St-Martin.
which is followed by a long rocky corridor 
to the green borderpass itself with bm312.
I see that it's still 3 hours walking to Val d'Aste where my car is parked.
Bm312 - closeup
Then on an easy but long, long trail
descending back to my car.

Finally hurrying to find a camping in Arrens-Marsou before dusk.

I end up on Camping Mialanne.
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