The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- thursday 4 september 2014 -
Roundtrip via Señal de Viadós

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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.

Today: a check if the shortcut Señal de Viados – Port d'Aygues Tortes as shown on Topopirineos is really a trail which can be included in the GRPdesBF. So: or existing in the terrain and/or waymarked or easy to navigate.

Weather: fine weather, a fierce thunderstorm starting just 1 minute after finishing
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds: see the cartography-page

Start: 12, finish: 17.45, net walking time: 5.45h

According to the gps-tripteller:
Distance:  14,0 km
Total ascent: 941m
Total denivellation: 1882m
Maximum height: 2488m
Total time: 5.55h

According to visugpx

- distance : 13,3 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1025m
- cum. elevation loss : 1016m
- total elevation: 2041m

- altitude maxi : 2565m
- altitude mini : 1746m
- altitude average : 2084m

After a long drive (7.30-11.30) from Lourdes via the Bielsa-tunnel and a 10km bumpy dirtroad, I arrive at Refugio de Viadós.
From the refuge, I climb uphill on a waymarked trail which should bring me to the Cuella (=col) de la Señal de Viados.
But I must have missed some signpost because I end up at the green/white trail
towards Refugio de Tabernés.
But a dirtroad brings me after a bend to a valley looking up to the Pic de Viados.

A bit further I can catch up with the trail to Cuella de la Señal de Viados.
which passes this simple cabin
and continues along this mountain ridge.
Further on - at the other side of the ridge - I get a view of the W-E-valley of the Barranco de Bachimala.

Access from that side to the Cuella de la Señal de Viadós seems not difficult though I don't see a distinct trail.
The col comes in sight (now still behind the rock)
and I'm getting closer.

At 14.45 I'm at the col of Señal de Viados.

Now this intermezzo: the next day I will spot this map at the wall of the camping Los Vives.
It shows also the trail which I want to check today: the shortcut from Cuella de Señal de Viados to Port d'Aygues Tortes (bm330)
This digital enhanced crop shows the shortcut better.
View from the col to the E.

We will have another look at this picture further on.

From the col, I descend ± 400m  (± 150m elevation loss) but there's no trace of a trail going left towards Port d'Aygues Tortes.
Nevertheless, I give it a try
but I can't find a fluent or straightforward route, let alone waymarked or an existing trail.
This is a kind of rift blocking an easy passage towards Port d'Aygues Tortes.

So my conclusion: the shortcut doesn't qualify as a variant or semi-variant for the GRPdesBF.
But there's something disturbing when I study at home my pictures again.

This picture is taking from the col. I can now see a trail which I obviously didn't notice at the col itself.

I was convinced that I had to descend first before bending to the left.

Let's zoom-in and then that trail becomes more clear.

And now the verdict: did I make a misstake?

Well: on this map my (red) route of today and in blue the shortcut which I wanted to check (derived from Topopirineos and available for you as a kml-file).

Conclusion: I did make a misstake, the shortcut starts already at the col.
I return to the car by descending first to the valley of Añes Cruces.

This panorama shows the routes ahead. The main route follows the GR11 in this part.
And now the Cabaña de Añes Cruces comes in sight.
Via the Cabaña I walk back
along the GR11 to Refugio de Viadós.
Then through pouring rain back on the bumpy dirtroad and driving to camping Los Vives.

I have just enough time to pitch my tent before a second thunderstorm.
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