The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- saturday 24 august 2013 -
Rain and fog

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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 12-days trip to the Pyrenees with a lot of targets from the Ariège mountains to the Basque country

Day 4: fourth day of a 6-days hike following the Ariège borderridge from bm418 to 425, today from cabane de la Lanne to cabane de Crusous, in between Port de Salau and Port de Marterat

Weather: rainy, foggy
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:

Start: 8.30, no break, finish 17.15, net walking time: 8.45h
According to the gps-tripteller:
Distance:  21,0 km
Total ascent: 1166m
Maximum height: 2195m

According to visugpx

- distance : 17,0 km
- cum. elevation gain :  1344m
- cum. elevation loss :  1291m
- total elevation:  2635m

- altitude maxi :  2193m
- altitude mini :  984m
- altitude average :  1592m
The day starts with drizzle.

I follow the red/white GR Transfrontalière downhill and
pass this shepherd's cabin. Probably destroyed by the enormous snowfall of last winter.
For a moment there’s sunshine and wide views (this picture: towards Port de Salau),

then it starts to drizzle again for the rest of the day. In the mountains that means: fog.

The descent from the cabane to the parking above Salau (which takes me ± 3½h) isn’t that straightforward. I loose the GR-trail once
and when I try the trail (shortcut) to Grange d’Espis - which is the branch to the left on this picture -
it’s too much blocked by fallen trees. I have to return.

But nevermind, the GRT-trail to the parking is a nice and easy stroll.
Then from the parking to the Anciennes Mines d'Anglade, an easy 2,5km walk on the tarmac.
At the end of the road this derelict building
with this rather sad philosophy of life.
Beyond the building, a yellow trail will bring me first to the cabane de Saubé but with some navigation difficulties.

This picture: the first yellow waymark appears, go straight ahead.
As far as I remember, you have to go further uphill from here.
After - let's say 150m of following  that forest-road - you can go left and cross this small bridge

and a bit further the trail climbs steeply NNE through and along a forest
to open area where a few yellow crosses might confuse you as it did me.

They only want you to zigzag uphill and not to climb straight on.
Continuing uphill, you will reach this cabin: cabane de Saubé

Behind the cabane, the yellow trail continues uphill.
The yellow waymarking  is not superfluous,
so be attentive not to take a wrong branch. At crucial points there are often cairns.
And suddenly I spot this curious engraving.
I saw an identical engraving three days ago on 21 august.

Who knows its function?

This picture: looking E and showing the last part of the ascent to Col de Crusous.

Once arrived at a sort of pass/ridge (± 1900m) and looking forward E to a sort of valley at the foot of a higher pass (the Col de Crusous), follow the trail to the right (= S) which - after 125m - will bend to the E.
That is the blue trail

At this pass, I lost the trail and descended into the valley, refinding the yellow trail later on. The persistent fog made orientation and wayfinding difficult.
This picture: on the final climb to the Col de Crusous (2203m)
Now I'm on Col de Crusous and look forward.

I descend into the valley on the yellow trail.
Then Cabane de Crusous suddenly emerges from the fog.

I’ already lost the yellow trail but the direction is obvious: just descend along the valley.

This picture: the cabin seen from the other side. 
The cabane is a bit crampy & dirty but it's dry and cosy in its own way. I liked it.

A running waterhose is just outside

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