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Haute Route Pyrenees Hike
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John Vollrath
Haute Route Pyrenees Hike on 05/27/2014 09:54:54 MDT Print View

Hey all,

I will be heading to Europe soon for some traveling, and I plan on doing the HRP trail between mid June to mid July from east to west. I have a few questions about clothing, and I could use some advice.

Clothing I know I'm brining:
1x Capilene 1 tshirt
1x Patagonia nano puff hoody
1x mont bell lightweight base layer
1x Patagonia r1 hoody
1x Patagonia m10

1x North face Paramount peak pants
1x Capilene boxers
3x smart wool socks
1x capilene 1 leggings
1x OR revel rain pants

1x OR liner gloves
1x OR mt baker mitts shell
1x OR gaiters
1x wool cap

Clothes I don't know if I should bring:
Patagonia down sweater
Patagonia r3
OR mt baker mitts inner glove

If you have any insights into how cold it'll be and what articles are (un)necessary, I would really appreciate it!

PS I will be traveling around with friends before doing the trek, and I was curious if it's possible to mail some items to the end of the hike so I don't have to carry some unnecessary travel items?


ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
HRP Amy on 05/27/2014 12:39:01 MDT Print View

You won't do much better than this...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Haute Route Pyrenees Hike on 05/27/2014 15:43:14 MDT Print View

No poncho? Um...
mid-June - could need ice-axe and crampons.


Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: Haute Route Pyrenees Hike on 05/28/2014 03:00:56 MDT Print View

You can expect early morning lows around freezing in high areas where you would usually set up a camp, mid-day highs in the 70s in stable, sunny weather. Your clothing kit looks good enough but I get lost with the brands/models. During the day, a base layer will be fine most of the time in good weather, a wind breaker is super useful and the typical base / light fleece / windbreak combo should be fine for anything but rain/snow while you're active.

You can definitely mail things ahead of you. If using the postal service, just state "Poste Restante" (in France) or "Lista de Correo" (in Spain) in a new line after your name and before the address of the relevant PO. They hold things for 15 days but I guess you could phone and ask for a longer holding time if needed, small villages' POs will probably have no problem. AFAIK, There is no standard way of stating an ETA but I guess you can informally state one.

Lodgings may also hold things for you if you book with them but you'd need to ask.

John Vollrath
thanks on 06/01/2014 14:37:27 MDT Print View

Thank you for your advice everyone! I'll check back in with a post-trip report in a few months.


John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Pyrenees on 06/06/2014 13:16:16 MDT Print View

There has been an unseasonally cold snap in the Aragones Pyrenees recently, with heavy snowfall last month, and more forecast for this weekend.
The locals are saying the conditions are like a normal April, so the snow is late and quite heavy and compacted.
I can't say how long it will hang around, but I was in Huesca last week, and although we were not very high as we were in the pre Pyrenees (Alquézar- amazing river walks along canyons), I could see plenty of snow on the high peaks of Monte Perdido region with the binoculars.
Days are warming up, but it is a wet, late spring this year, which is contributing to the late snow, and colder nights so the snow is slow to melt.
If you google translate the link above, they do a daily report, which is cool as it is from a ski and mountaineering perspective
It is usually best to check in with the local tourist office before you head up high about the snowpack.
Hope this helps.

John Vollrath
Part way through update on 07/06/2014 14:08:26 MDT Print View

Hi all,
Yesterday I finished from Banyuls to L'hospitalet pres l'andorre, and I figured I would give an update. I have been following Joosten's guide in reverse, and have managed to keep up with his itinerary even when the reverse direction features significantly more uphill (although some foot-related injuries kept me stuck in Arles sur tech for a couple days).

Snow was not encountered until Pic de Carlit. There are two small snowfields you must cross to reach the peak from the lakes below. I used crampons since I am traveling solo and prefer safety, but they can be crossed without. Coming down the west side of Carlit was easy (despite being in a thunderstorm). There were only a couple small snow patches on the trail towards Estany de Lanos. I then headed north, and crossed the Coll de Coma d'anvell, which had significant snow cover at the top. From the Coll to just east of Refuge de Besines, some sort of traction is necessary (microspikes).

I expect a good amount of snow in the next portion of L'hospitalet to salardú, but we shall see.

Another item I thought id comment on is my success with the iPhone app IphiGénie. So far I have only used this for navigation, and it has been wonderful. That, and I scanned my Joosten guide, so I have no dead paper weight. I have brought along a Bushnell Bear Grylls SolarWrap Mini USB Charger, which can fully charge the iPhone with a full battery. One day of hiking with half a day of good sunshine managed to charge my iPhone from 1% to 35%. Although I haven't encountered long stretch without electricity, I am confident in the more wild settings I will be able to maintain battery life through the solar charger and efficient use of airplane mode.

I'll let you know more in a couple weeks.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pyrenees on 07/06/2014 18:07:44 MDT Print View

Hi John and John

Um. Indeed. Thanks.
Updates appreciated.


Edited by rcaffin on 07/06/2014 18:08:01 MDT.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Pyrenees on 07/07/2014 14:18:54 MDT Print View

Thanks for that link John, very useful.

John Vollrath
Update from tavascan on 07/16/2014 02:52:27 MDT Print View

Snow snow everywhere.
Descending down from Port de Baiau (near coma Pedrosa) requires some care. Ascending coll de Certascan definitely needs crampons and and ice ax... And preferably a team. Many snowfields everywhere above 2200m, usually by 10AM they are plenty soft and planar enough to ascend with boots.

Unfortunately, I'm going to call this one quits for this year. It feels a bit too much like testing fate doing this alone with all the snow.

Best of luck to those pressing on!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Update from tavascan on 07/16/2014 16:23:34 MDT Print View

Um indeed. Thanks for the update again.