GavarnieAug 13 2019

Cliff Walk

Map thumbnail of location

Rise and shine! Let's get out of this snorefest of a campground and back into the mountains! And from what I could see from inside my tarp, it was (finally!) going to be a glorious day.

Beautiful view from the campground thoughBeautiful view from the campground though

Today we actually strayed from the HRP and did an alternative (which Crash put together) to hit some of the highlights of the Pyrenees. So first things first: go into the Cirque!

This doesn't capture it but maybe it will inspire you to visit some day?This doesn't capture it but maybe it will inspire you to visit some day?

The route we were talking started at the top of the Cirque, some 1500 meters above us.

Directly above us.

Getting up there was definitely not hiking -- it was pretty much scrambling and climbing. It was a marked trail, but that's only a comfort in that we knew we were on trail.

Crash scrambling upCrash scrambling up

Once we reached the first plateau (maybe 1000 meters up), we found a herd of sheep and Crash and a foot-stamping standoff with one of them that decided the trail was his.

Crash accepting good defeat and going around. (I did the same)Crash accepting good defeat and going around. (I did the same)

After another 500 meters or so of climbing, we found ourselves at La Brèche de Roland, which was an amazing geologic formation.

Er, sorry, an amazing result of a French hero trying to destroy his unbreakable sword. My mistake.

This vantage point helps hide the mobs of touristsThis vantage point helps hide the mobs of tourists

Anyway, we passed through the breach and began a cross country adventure loosely based on a trail which the GPS indicator insisted existed, but was otherwise imaginary.

It led to views like this, thoughIt led to views like this, though
And scrambling down-climbs like this oneAnd scrambling down-climbs like this one
And this oneAnd this one

Eventually, we reached our goal: the mouth of the Ordesa Canyon, and the cliff walk that followed a sediment band around, in the middle of the wall. It was a truly unique experience (to me). I'm familiar with the tops and bottoms of canyons, but never right in the middle of the wall!

Super duper coolSuper duper cool

The whole canyon reminded me a lot of the Grand Canyon, actually. It had trees in the wrong spots and the colors were sometimes wrong, but overall it had a familiar vibe.

Another shot of the canyonAnother shot of the canyon

At the end of this, we weren't near the HRP, so we had to begin another multi-hour cross country adventure to rejoin it. This was pretty, but very painful as those days of rain had left my foot in a pretty torn-up state. I need this dry streak to continue for quite some time if I'm going to continue.

Anyway, we eventually got within spitting distance of the HRP and set up camp. All in all: a very tiring but very unique day. (I feel like I think that a lot on this trip ...)

That's Crash nestled down to sleepThat's Crash nestled down to sleep
Near-o #2: BielsaAug 15 2019