The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : the GRPdesBF
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- stage 7 -
 
D58 - Col de Lindus (bm137-155)

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Only the bordermarkers along this stage are shown (and some adjoining ones). The main route is red, the variants are blue. The main route provides a smooth on-going route along most bordermarkers, the variants give access to the remaining bordermarkers. See the GRPdesBF-principles.
Click here for an fullscreen interactive map.


In short

From the Venta at the D58, the main route is fairly easy: descending to Urepel and climbing back to the border and continuing to Col de Lindus, mostly on tarmac roads and dirtroads.  The variant however - doing bm138-150 - is a tough one: about 3000m elevation (often steep) to find the bordermarkers on the straight borderline which crosses ridges and valleys until Col de Lindus. This is a challenge.

Considerations
If you include the variant, you might consider to bivouac somewhere along it. You'll cross several streams but at Col de Lindus, there's no water. If you - from Col de Lindus - continue E on the dirtroad, there is a source along the road after 2 km. Descending S from bm154 into the valley to a stream (according to the maps) might be much faster to collect water. Remember: the next stage is mainly on the high ridge and the next source along the route is after 8,5 km near bm174.

Factsheet
Routes
Km
Heights:
min - max
Heights:
start-finish
Cum. pos.
elevation
Cum. neg.
elevation
Cum. total
elevaton
Time
Bm's
covered
main route
14,8
412 - 1208
758-1180
1072
651
1723
6.01
6*
incl. all variants
17,3
412-1208
idem
1899
1468
3367
8.42
19*
variant via
bm138-150
13,7
(+2,5)
529-999
748-881
1516

1383

2899
(+1644)
7.06
(+2.41)
13
- the main route is a smooth trail along the border and most of the bordermarkers (within 100m reach of the main route)
- the variants allow you to visit the remaining bordermarkers
- altitudes according to the NASA SRTM3 database, derived through
Gpsvisualizer:
- km & elevations according to Basecamp
- time according to
Naismith's rule with average speed 4km/h; 10 min. extra for every 100m ascent and 5 min. extra for every 100m descent. Don't forget: this is a rough estimation.
- (+ or -) = extra km & elevation & time compared to continuing on the main route)
* = including overlap of 1 bm with previous stage
Bm's
covered
cumulative:
168
Bm's cum.
on main route:
124

Gps-files needed

kml/kmz
gpx (with
altitudes added)
Waypoints of all esfr-bordermarkers esfr-bordermarkers-all-waypoints.kml
gpx-version
Tracks of this stage grpdesbf-137-155-vs043.kml
gpx-version

Useful
You might check the relevant webpages in the 'All markers'-section and 'All my trips'-section. They provide pictures of the bordermarkers and additional information.

Version 04
April 2015. If you have any correction, suggestion etcetera -> please email me: eefberns@grenspalen.nl


MAPS AND DIRECTIONS

Print your own maps
It's easy to print your own - custom made - maps with the GRPdesBF-route and the bordermarkers on them.
See: Print your own maps



Your starting point seen from above: the venta Baztan.

If you need food-supplies, take your chance here, the next shops are at the end of the next stage.
Bm137 is located SE underneath the venta.

It can be easily accessed by a 50m detour from the main route.  But that detour is  also the start of the large variant covering bm138-150.
Bm137
From the venta-parking this view of the hilltop of Ichterbegui with bm141 at its top.

The borderline is a straight line and all bordermarkers 138-150 are covered by the variant.

The main GRPdesBF-route will join in after bm150.
But first a guide to the main route.

On tarmac, descend E to the river. Then continue along the river to the village of Urepel.
It's a peaceful countryroad and navigation is easy: you can't go wrong.

Distance Venta Baztan - Urepel: 4,5 km.
But from Urepel onwards, navigation can be confusing because of the many sideroads and branches.

This map and the next will help you.
The route will be mainly on tarmac.

Distance from Urepel until the joining with the variant: 7 km
When we study the French IGN-maps, there are other options for the part from Urepel onwards.

These are the purple trails on the maps. Usually they are officially waymarked trails but I couldn't find any reference to them and didn't try them (yet).

I don't think they will save you time but they might be more rewarding in terms of views and off-tarmac.
Variant via bm138-150
This picture shows well the beginning of the variant.

After visiting bm137: descend SSE through the bush for 35m to a small stream (which actually starts 30m E of bm137).

Then follow the small stream in its descent SW for 30m.


When it approaches a larger stream (going SEE), you will arrive at a trail parallel of it, going SE

Descend along that trail until you reach a dirtroad with bm138
From bm138 go W to the end of the dirtroad in a final bend of the road.



At this point two streams come together continuing SE.

Cross the first stream. The dirtroad becomes a path. Then cross the second stream.
The path arrives at a semi-open place  in the forest.

The trail seems to vanish SW in the direction of 3 large trees
but after the last of those trees, the trail reappears.

After  100m it crosses a third stream.

The trail now turns left (=SE) parallel to the stream.

The trail climbs gently SE and arrives after 75m at this fence.

Cross the fence and descend  SE through the forest,  parallel to the fence/rockwall at your left.

After 200m you'll get to a tiny stream and beyond it, there's another fence

Cross that fence and continue your descent SE for 150m in the forest until you reach a tarmac road.

On the road, go left.


After 100m, you will arrive at this farmhouse.

Bm139 is at the opposite site of the road, in front of a small barn.
The kid of the farmhouse had built in 2013 a messy cabin against the bordermarker, using it as a cornerstone.
Beyond bm139, the tarmac road brings you with a curve down to another road.

From there, you have to go hence & forth down a meadow to get to bm140.
Bm140 is at the other side of the stream.
Wading through the stream, is not difficult. 

Back to the tarmac road. 
Now continue SW on the road.

After the first house/farm beyond the border, the road crosses a stream in a sharp bend of the road. Just before that bend, go left on a dirtroad which crosses stream a bit further and later a larger stream.

It then starts climbing SSE. If there's a bifork -> keep left.

You will cross some fences and pass a barn (Borda Escribano).
That's where I pitched my tent once (but there's no water nearby).
The trail climbs to the hillridge on a sort of plateau with this cabin 50m to the E
From this plateau, climb NNE-N uphill along the ridge - with a sub-summit in between - to the summit of Ichterbegui with bm141. Note: there's no trail uphill.

From bm141, descend SEE to a (dirt)road.
At the dirtroad, you might need to search for bm142.  It's this small rockface in the western roadside.

However, the border is clear at this spot: the French tarmac stops here and the road continues as a dirtroad into Spain. Also there's a fence going uphill (=the borderline)
And from close to bm142, the route further on is well recognizable.
Zoom-in from previous picture.


But first bm143 which requires a steep descent into the valley.
Same map, now on Google Earth.
Below bm142, descend SE-E downhill into a beach forest, passing an old stone wall and a large boulder.


Both lead you on a sort of natural trail downwards until
this open space with the stream in the valley-bottom in sight.


Bm143 is hidden behind a fallen tree.
Bm143 is split in half, one side (also with the number 143 on it) lying besides the still standing half.


This picture showing both numbers.

Now you have to descend further to the stream. It's steep and fallen trees makes progress hazardous. Be careful!

Once at the stream, your next goal is a meadow 125m to the NE.


There is a path in the forest, leading uphill in its direction.

Once having arrived at the meadow, proceed along the meadow to its SE-corner.

Then continue E for 30m and arrive at a dirtroad. Climb along the dirtroad making the curve - along a cabin - to the hillridge with bm144.
Bm144 at the hillridge.



Progress to bm145 is simple but not easy: descend E (very steeply) to a stream, then climb steeply E-SEE along the forest-edge.
Bm145 is 50 meter W of a cabin and a few meters at the N-side of a country road coming from the cabin.

This picture: looking W (where you come from).
Bm145
From bm145 (or the cabin), make a slight curve SE-E-NEE above the forest along the hillslope. Cattle-trails might help you. A large barn is you destination.

Then make the climb uphill to the hillridge as show on this map.
Bm146 is an easy find.

Besides the current pillar bm146, there's the base of a former pillar 146, so it seems.

Bm146 has two 'brothers', one at each side.
Approximately 15 meters W of bm146 (= the pillar in the background), there is a number 146 engraved in a rock with a cross on the upper side.
But there's also a rock with a cross & the number 146 at the other side of bm146 (also 15m).

It’s low to the ground and now hidden between the fern. But still easy to find.




From bm146, you have to descend E to a tarmac road on the other side of the ridge.

After the bend in the road, bm147 is 150m further, on the hillside above the road.
Bm 147 is engraved in this boulder above the road.

However, fern and blackberry have grown to an unpenetrable jungle and you can't climb to it here.

Luckily, a bit back on the road  you can easily climb the hillside (without fern and blackberry)  to traverse to bm147.
Approaching the backside of the boulder.

Only the last few meters are still fern and blackberry but there's a sort of trail made by other visitors.
Bm147
Go a bit back and then it’s easy to climb through grass and some fern-patches 100m E to a dirtroad
which brings you nicely to the ridge where bm148 is located, 50m N of a cabin.

 
From bm148, go N leaving the summit at your right.

A kind of trail will appear
which descends to a dirtroad, crosses it and  
leads you towards this cabin.


I once camped here and then there was a watertap to use.





Just behind the cabin, descend steeply E-NEE on a meadow and pick up a cattle trail that becomes a path which ends at a dirtroad.

Follow the dirtroad to the S until it merges with a trail going N->S. Now go N on that trail until a dirtroad, close to a farm.

Don't continue to the farm but turn right after the stream and go S, again on a trail. You  have to stay above the stream and later above the forest at your right hand.

The trail climbs gradually, is sometimes vague and brings you eventually to 
Bm149.

Now you need to climb steeply NEE up to the hillridge and then bend to the S to the summit.

The summit is in fact a ridge with 3 rocky summits.

At the middle one of those 3, you will find bm150.
From bm150  you can already spot the location of bm151.

Return 50m to the N on the summit and you can pick up a cattle trail, descending slowly NEE towards the dirtroad visible on this picture.

At the dirtroad, you are back  at the main route.
End of variant 1

The last part of this stage: 3,5km.
The dirtroad leads to bm151, a  bit besides and below the road.
Bm151

Keep following that dirtroad

which enters a forest after 700m.

In the forest, it curves around the slope, exits the forest and then - after 200m - bends sharply back and climbs to the col with
bm152.

Now climb SEE uphill to
this hilltop with the remnants of a fortress.

In the middle - at the corner of a fence: 
bm153.

Then it's an easy descent SEE along a fence to
bm154.

Keep following the fence and after 125m you will arrive at
Col de Lindus with bm155, the end of this stage.


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