The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 30 august 2010 -
Bm322: picture of a picture

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(click to open in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps;
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Summary: part of a 11-days backpacking trip from Cauterets to Loudenvielle ‘doing” bm315 to bm330. Day 6: in a half circle to Port Barroude, allmost finding bm322.

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

Start: 8.30, break: 13.30- 14.15, finish: 18.30, net walking time: 8.45
According to the gp-tripteller:
Distance: 24,1 km
Time moved: 7.22h
Time standing still:2.40h
In total: 10.02h
Total ascent: 1349
Maximum height: 2602

According to visugpx
- distance : 22.71 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1243 m
- cum. elevation loss : 1060 m
- total elevation:  2303

- altitude maxi : 2586 m
- altitude mini : 1931 m
- altitude average : 2282 m
Mist over the Vallée de Troumouse when I wake up.

From my camping spot, I walk down to a country road cq broad track and follow it untill a sign points to the cabane les Aires a bit higher.

In the beginning it's even flat walking, a delight after all that elevation in the previous days.

From the cabane, there’s a distinct trail leading under the huge rocks, descending  and finally bending to the right and climbing up the valley.

A curious marmotte watching me.
Looking back meanwhile at the borderridge of yesterday with the Port de la Canau well visible.

Move the mouse over the picture to see where the port is.
Same ridge but further away
Looking back to the west, the Vignemale still visible.
Zoom-in of the Vignemale
If you get close to Cabane de Aguilous, the upper valley unfolds itself.

On this picture the cabane is visible,  also the Hourquette de Héas.

I keep following the trail and that makes an unnecessary bend to the start of the final climb. The maps show a more direct trail from the cabane.

Move the mouse over the picture to see cabin and Hourquette.

Compare the purple (direct) route from cabin to the Hourquette with the blue one I did.
It’s gentle climbing (with remarkable long zigzags) to the Hourquette de Héas.
It took me 5 hours to get to the Hourquette.

A last view of the Vignemale in the background

I was struck by the encounter with this simple but yet so beautiful flower.
Then after some descending, continuing to the next pass (Hourquette de Chermentas).

After some descending the main trail leads directly southward to the refuge Barroude underneath the mountain ridge at your right.
Getting closer to the refuge, the broad, saddle-like Port de Barroude comes more in sight.

Tomorrow I will learn that there is a direct route from the pass over the borderridge to the east (= left on this picture)

Move the mouse over the picture to see where that trail is.
A coffee-stop at the refuge where the warden tells that this very morning he took pictures of bm322. I decide to stay overnight in the refuge with all the luxuries of a cold shower, cold beer and warm meals. I leave my backpack behind
and lightheartedly climb to Port de Barroude (the middle of a broad brown ridge). But I can’t find bm322 despite the directions of the warden.

This picture: taken from the middle of the pass. The bm should be on that rocky outcrop at the end of the pass.
Back at the refuge the warden shows his picture of the bm on his camera. He tells me that it is on the larger rock, about 200 meters west from the pass itself. I looked there for the familiair rectangular shape but the warden’s picture shows an atypical bm. Tomorrow a new chance.
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