Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday 26 July 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 42 - Stage 32 (part) - St-Lizier-d'Ustou to Passerelle d'Ars (1485 metres)

Distance: 18 km (Cum: 618 km)     

Ascent: 1480 metres (Cum: 35,420 metres)
                     
Time taken: 7.25 hrs including 1.0 hrs stops                                     

Weather: sunny - very hot - for much of the day my thermometer was reading 30ºC+

We were away from the campsite at 8 am on another lovely day. There will be no need to air the sleeping bag today - it wasn't used last night. 

Luckily the day's early paths were well shaded. It seemed surprisingly dark as we headed up a sunken lane past some old buildings towards Col de Fitté.  Whoever built that steep old lane was certainly taking no prisoners! 

Despite our efforts to walk slowly (for Graham that's still much faster than me), we were soon dripping. 

There were no flowers of any note under the dark canopy, and thankfully not too many flies. Some very muddy sections justified the use of ankle gaiters.  My RAB gaiters from Alpenstock have certainly proved very useful on this trip, even on hot days like this one; you don't notice they are on, and they make sock washing a whole lot easier. 

The zip off trouser legs were returned to the clothes bag for today's long climbs, and luckily the horse flies behaved for most of the day. 

Occasional glances through the trees of fine mountain views like the one pictured, held our interest before the col provided an excuse for a welcome break. 

We needed that break. The next 20 minutes were spent thrutching up a brutal 150 metre slope. We were lucky to have a dry day for it, or the mud would have been 'Interesting'.

A ski resort with lots of chalet accommodation was passed, and we enjoyed clear sky views back to the Mt Valier summits. But with no clouds and a heat haze, we can't expect too much from our photos. 

We finally reached the day's high spot, Col d'Escots (1618 metres - not attractive due to ski paraphernalia) at 11 o'clock. After noting a rare error in Paul Lucia's Cicerone guide, we headed ESE for an hour or so to find a suitable lunch spot. I thought I'd found a bit of shade. I hadn't. So I continued to a shadier spot, leaving Graham to sunbathe. 

We bumped into the same French couple we saw a couple of days ago.  I wonder how far they are going?  Communication with them is difficult. 

On the final section past Étang de Guzet and along a rocky, undulating belvedere path to Passerelle d'Ars, we met lots of day walkers. There's a car park for Cascade d'Ars, which we will pass in the morning. It's an ideal place to start a day walk. 

Two Dutch people accosted us. .

"You were on the campsite"
"Yes"
"You must have left early"
"Yes"
"Where did you park?"
"We walked"
Incredulous gasp
"Wow!" (or similar)

Anyway, we passed some good water sources, so there are plenty of places to camp hereabouts. But Passerelle d'Ars yielded a good spot so we pitched across the bridge from where the bottom photo was taken. It was very hot. Two fishermen came and entertained us briefly, but they were unable to catch anything longer than 20 centimetres, so they got thrown back and the lads moved down stream to where they thought the trout would be bigger. 

Eventually we lost the sun.  Great! Dinner outside in fresh, cool air. 

Then the midges came out to play. So now I'm in a pleasantly cool tent with the midge net in place, through which there's a fine mountain view. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

1 comment:

Alan R said...

Just stunning Martin. What a beautiful place to spend a night.