Back in Time – Pyrenees 1993 Part 2   12 comments

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Second day and the weather was scorchingly good. Clear blue skies and an awesome day in the offing. What do to do though. Clearly the high peaks were a little plastered in very deep snow and we were quite low down so a smaller peak was required. In the absence of any maps worthy of the name we took a look up the valley, spotted a likely looking unknown peak and headed for it. It was that kind of trip.

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My memory was of a climb that was a mix of rocky scrambling and very loose scree but nothing harder than a Snowdonia or Scottish peak. I think that’s Pico D’Aneto and the Maladeta massif in the background.

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In fact this shot makes it look not unlike the east ridge of Crib Goch from the Pig track.

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Even though we were walking on snow it was fiercely hot, hence the rather odd look of gaiters and shorts I’m sporting. The smaller peaks on the left of the photo below are, I think, the peaks we climbed the day before

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No idea what that peak is, might be Pico de Posets.

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Smaller peaks like this are likely rarely climbed so we felt like pioneers on a new route. It was immense fun and the combination of snowy ridges and deep blue skies under a blazing sun was irresistible.

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The views of the surrounding mountains wasn’t bad either.

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We carried on around the ridge, this shot looking back to our first peak. From there we dropped down to the valley. I have a memory of one of my best standing glissades ever (skiing on your boots). The wet snow was just perfect for it.

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This shot has been up on my wall for years. Its a combination of a very happy moment, lazing on warm rocks in the sun and the rather dodgy scene of UF and THO with their hands in their trousers! God knows what they were doing but its always made us laugh.

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This spot was just tremendous, crystal clear waters and warm sunshine. I remember it like it was yesterday.

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Walking back down the valley to collect the tents you can see our un-named peak on the left.

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We headed back to the car and pitched up at a different campsite in place called Castejon. The campsite was officially closed but the owner let us use it and opened up the loo blocks for us. No hot water mind, so showers were brutally cold. Not really that much of a problem as it was brutally hot in the sun.

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Hence, there we are hiding in the shade behind the tent.

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We re-supplied as best we could, this part of Spain wasn’t well furnished with Supermarkets, ready for another trip into the mountains.

More comedy ensued as we decided to buy an outrageously outsized water melon, the size and weight of a medicine ball. We then convinced TBF that we were taking it with us and that she needed to carry it – just for a laugh to see how she’d react. She threw a fit about how stupid it was to take a water melon wild camping and that she wanted no part of such idiocy let alone carry it (it must have weighed well over 10lbs) before realising the gag. The joke was then on all of us as we realised we had nothing to cut it up with. Cue the comical sight of us trying to hack into a water melon a foot in diameter with a small swiss army pen knife. It was nice though.

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Off into the wilds the next day. Proper mountains to be climbed.

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Posted April 9, 2020 by surfnslide in Pyrenees, Spain

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12 responses to “Back in Time – Pyrenees 1993 Part 2

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  1. Blimey – I don’t know where to begin.
    Stunning scenery. Looks like an awesome climb.
    My best standing glissade was in the Pyrenees too.
    I didn’t know you were acquainted with Beau Geste. (i.e. what where UF and THO wearing on their heads?)
    Did you really have to share the pocket billiards photo?

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    beatingthebounds
    • There’s an image you can’t un-see!! 🙂
      Like all things on this trip we were totally unprepared, this time for the fierce heat of the sun, hence the extravagant and daft attempts to keep the sun off us. It really was bloody hot. In terms of headwear I think I’m doing it in the best style with that hat we both bought from Croyde. I loved that hat and I really wish I’d kept it now. I lived under it most of that summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning views from up there. Must be good to be able to look back at hikes from a different time. My hillwalking days only go back to 2006 so I kinda feel I missed out from doing stuff like that when I was younger. I was probably a lot more risk averse given my advanced start age so was a lot less adventurous than I might have been lol.

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    • I’ve really enjoyed going back through my old photo prints. They live in old style albums on the bookcase so I rarely look at them (my digital photos are my scrolling screensaver). When I first thought about scanning a few photos and writing up some old posts, this was the trip at the top of my list. We had such a great time and my abiding memory is one of smiles and laughter as well as great mountain experiences. Totally agree on the risk taking. We never gave much thought to danger back then, only considering whether it was within our technical range and if it was, we went for it. I’ve climbed a few peaks in the Alps and done several decent winter routes in Scotland. These days I rarely do anything harder than easy scrambling and feel very nervous when I do. Not sure whether that’s having responsibilities to my family, a more acute awareness of my own mortality or just the fact my body isn’t up to the challenge any more. Nowadays I plan trips to nth degree and looking back on this trip I miss those days when we just headed off and took each day as it came.

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  3. Looks like you were much earlier in the season than my own visits as we never experienced that level of snow. So many great locations there. A huge range of peaks end to end. Very impressive.

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    Blue Sky Scotland
    • This was late May into early June when its pretty much still winter high up. Pyrenees holds its snow above 2500m well into July. We could have easily skied some of these peaks. Curiously though it was really hot even high up hence us trying to cover up for sunburn. I love the Pyrenees, some of the best long distance hiking in Europe, just hard enough to be challenging without any real objective dangers if you stay off the peaks

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  4. I thought it was clear why my hands are where they are. Keeping them out the sun. Obviously.

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