Info on Pyrenean snowpack?
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Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Info on Pyrenean snowpack? on 05/13/2009 20:40:03 MDT Print View

We have decided to hike the Pyrenean Haute Route this year (aka HRP), in large part because of the great Mountain Magic report from David McClure. We're trying to choose a start date.

The info in Roger's and David's trip reports and forum discussions in the past have made it clear that snowpack varies a lot, and start date might depend on snowpack.

I have found snowpack info on meteo website, but it is expressed in amount, not in percentage of norm. I need to know the conditions relative to normal conditions.

Does anybody have info about 2009 conditions?

Thanks, Amy Lauterbach

Edited by drongobird on 05/14/2009 09:52:27 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Info on Pyrenean snowpack? on 05/13/2009 20:56:21 MDT Print View

> in large part because of the .

The what?

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Info on Pyrenean snowpack? on 05/14/2009 09:53:12 MDT Print View

oops, I fixed the typo in my original post. Sorry.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Pyrenees on 05/14/2009 14:22:32 MDT Print View

Hi Amy,
I live in Barcelona, and do sections of the HRP now and then, as well as other walks in the Pyrenees.
I can tell you that 2008/9 winter has been very wet, with lots of snow, some records have been broken in fact.
This means that the snow will, in most likelyhood, remain at greater elevations for longer in the season this summer.
I don't know when you are planning to hike, but I guess this year you could expect to see snow at high altitudes right through the year, so be prepared for challenging conditions if you are coming this way for a hike this summer.
Have a look at my gear list (in profile) for some ideas of what I use in these conditions. I've modified a few things, of course, but its basically the same.
I hope this helps,
fred

Edited by fredfoto on 05/14/2009 14:24:04 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pyrenees on 05/14/2009 15:48:58 MDT Print View

Hi John

More snow than 2007? There was a lot there early in that year, enough to force us to change our route.

Cheers

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
snow, snow, snow on 05/14/2009 17:40:13 MDT Print View

G'day Roger,
This year has been really wet, after two years of drought which left Cataluña in a state of emergency for water last summer. The amount of rain and snow at higher elevations, has filled the dams from dangerously empty (importing water to Barcelona from France by tanker) to nearly full in a matter of months. The government are in the process of emptying these dams to allow for the snowmelt which has only just started happening with the late Spring. Tonight, there is snow in the Catalan Pyrenees above 1700 meters. Lotsa snow, mate. Great for the skiiers et al. Me, I prefer milder walking climes, but I'm looking forward to the season and the challenges, and the lovely fresh water up there.
I'll be down under to see the family xmas time, and will try for some kind of hike in the Blue Mountains when I'm there. Not expecting much snow for xmas in Sydney!!
cheers,
fred

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: snow, snow, snow on 05/14/2009 19:22:46 MDT Print View

Hi John

> try for some kind of hike in the Blue Mountains when I'm there.

Yeah, well ... as it turned out, we missed Jan & Feb due to extreme heat and fire danger. We may have done a local daywalk on a few days, but that was all. Afaik, many local clubs also backed off for a few months too. Only now is the weather getting to the suitable stage.

Before Xmas was not as bad, but after it ...

Cheers