Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday 19 July 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 34 - Stage 25 (part)/26 (variant) - Étang d'Uls to Sentein via Pic de Crabère (2629 metres)

Distance: 17 km (Cum: 510 km)     

Ascent: 700 metres (Cum: 28,650 metres)
                     
Time taken: 8.5 hrs including 2.25 hrs stops                                     

Weather: sunny and hot - a brilliant day

Clear skies were expected, given the drop in temperature in our tents. They duly arrived, and we were away by 7.30am, just before the sun would have hit the tents. 

A tramp west, through dew sodden grass, and past Dog's Tooth Violets and evidence of moles, soon located the GR10 path, along which we headed - across a snow slope visible from our tents - to Pas de Bouc and Col d'Aueran. Graham diverted to a minor peak (or two?) whilst I ditched my rucksack and headed up the 450 metre climb to Pic de Crabère. I met a couple of girls coming down, and reached the 2629 metre summit with ... you maybe guessed - Pierre and Yolaine. They had stayed overnight in Refuge de L'Étang d'Araing and were bagging this hill before continuing on to the gite at Eylie.

This popular peak, on the border with Spain, enjoys a fine mountain view in all directions. Pierre's map was spread out on the windless summit by a cornice beyond which oblivion awaited the unwary. A fabulous spot. In perfect weather. 

Graham arrived after a while, and obliged by taking today's picture from the summit. 

Sue will be sad to have missed this high point, especially as P&Y were there.

Apparently a pair of Lammergauer vultures live hereabouts, but they don't get going until a bit later in the morning, when the thermals are better. So we missed them. And the bears.

We ambled down at our own paces, meeting Philippe and six of his teenage charges on the way up. Philippe looked very macho in his leader's uniform! We picked up our bags at the col (me and Graham anyway) and headed down to the Refuge for Caffè au Lait.

Au revoir, P&Y, "a bientot". (?)

The Tour du Biros path to Sentein was a delight. After dropping gently over open ground for 500 metres or so, it entered beautiful beech woods for the remainder of the descent to the valley. There were a few people around, but the path could hardly be described as busy.

The facilities in Sentein are basic - a campsite and an alimentary (basic food shop). But 'oh joy' - for the first time in two weeks we have reached somewhere little affected by the inundation. There is no mud!

They were lucky. This is on the very edge of the wide area of devastation that has affected Spanish towns and villages as much as it has affected the French places we have been through. 

We were able to re-stock, and purchase ingredients - including an essential bottle of vino - for a tasty stew, in this quiet - verging on the 'dead' on the 'quiet' scale, village. 

Goodbye for now, from a lovely evening in France. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

2 comments:

Alistair Pooler said...

The view from Pic de Crabère looks fantastic :-) Hope it's not too warm. Back home the Met Office have declared a heatwave today in NW England!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Martin, for all these very interesting details of your fantastic trip, the so wonderful photos, and all the pleasure we get when you speak so gently about Y & P (happy smiling on the picture posted thursday) !
Sad that Sue had to stop : we miss her in your story...
xxx Chantal & Joel