Pyrenees 2017: Gr10, GR11 & the HRP

Discussion in 'Places & Planning' started by DuncanDo, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Slowcoach

    Slowcoach Summit Camper

    I bought some at variou campsites
  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Is there an Intersport open? A ferreteria?
  3. Slowcoach

    Slowcoach Summit Camper

    I also bought screw top gas at supermarkets, they mostly seem to have an aisle with camping stuff
  4. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Do you mean specifically in Irun or just generally along the way? I'm after specific advice about Irun (or Hendaye). Thanks.
  5. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Thanks Ed. There is an Intersport but no sign of the opening times on its website/the internet. May have to adjust the travel plans to ensure arrive there in time on the Saturday. The Decathlon in Irun is open until 9.30pm on Saturdays.
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  6. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    OR just convert to alcohol :)
    DuncanDo likes this.
  7. Max

    Max Trail Blazer

    Sundays can be tricky in Spain regarding opening times. Although I've been in several Decathlon stores on a Sunday including Santiago,Ribadeo,Sevilla and Barcelona these are large stores I didn't try the one at Irun.
    If you are arriving by bus or train the station is right in town close to the shops Decathlon is further out .Shops may be open never been on a Sunday though.
    Good luck.
  8. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Without wishing to open up a WHOLE other thread re choice of stoves ;)... I seriously considered it for this trip but am going to stick with gas.
  9. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    we took both - a cone setup plus 25g gas burner for backup. Used mainly alcohol, and a 100 cart with the latter.
    Lady Grey likes this.
  10. Slowcoach

    Slowcoach Summit Camper

    I camped at Alturan campsite in Hendaye and bought gas there. Smashing site.
    DuncanDo likes this.
  11. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Flights are booked! Managed to find train from Leeds to Stanstead one way for £26 (splitting the ticket at Peterborough) and then flight from Stanstead to Biarritz for £53. Pretty pleased with how cheap that is and that it's a 2pm flight so no crazy early morning or staying in the airport the night before. Looked at the trains and whilst it appeals, with working up until the Friday, the travel needed to start in Leeds at a sensible hour Saturday. The plan should mean arriving into Hendaye/Irun with enough time to get to the Decathlon before it closes.
    edh likes this.
  12. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    There's a regular bus service from the airport to Hendaye, some rediculous price like €2 for over an hour's ride.
    DuncanDo likes this.
  13. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    You can find details of the 816# Bus service to Hendaye/ Irun HERE.......still €2.
    JimH, edh and DuncanDo like this.
  14. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Snow conditions update posted today on hikepyrenees.co.uk:


    "2017 GR11 Conditions update (posted May 9th)
    It’s still way to early in the season to know what snow conditions will be like on the GR11 this summer.

    Conditions are quite complicated this year. I would say there is probably less snow than normal on the southern and lower slopes, however probably more than usual higher up and on north facing slopes. We didn’t have a very cold winter so lower down precipitation fell mainly as rain but above 2200 metres there were quite heavy snowfalls.

    [​IMG]
    Respomuso GR11 snow conditions 9 May 2017

    This is a webcam pic taken from Refugio Respomuso today pointing towards the Collado de Tebbarai (2782m). The approximate route of the GR11 is marked in red. As you can see there is still a lot of snow in this north facing col.

    Usually the GR11 still has snowy sections until at least the end of June and normal until the middle of July. We strongly recommend that you have crampons and a walking axe in your pack if you intend to hike over the highest sections of the GR11 during these times.

    We’ll post more news on conditions later in May or June once it has become clearer what early season snow will be like on the GR11."
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    JimH and edh like this.
  15. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

  16. Stuart

    Stuart Trail Blazer

    I'm half thinking of taking our 6 yr old this summer. I read Davy's trip report from last year and our mileage would be a bit higher than that but not by much! The main difference is that we'd go by train and bus. I've been to the Lescun, Canfranc areas before this way and up to Latour de Carol but only passing through on that line on my way to Spain.

    I just wondered if anyone had ideas that would be suitable for young kids, perhaps on the road up to Somport or in other valleys that have buses from the railheads. Or even further east on the line up to Latour de Carol?

    Alternatively any good base camp options (camping) with short day walks?

    I find it really difficult to find places with manageable climbs while still being in wild places. My Rando maps have cross country ski trails on them which are potentially good but any ideas or thoughts you have would be great.
  17. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    No help on the 6yr old walks.
    But the ski touring routes can be tough... I've tried a couple and with one managed 3km in 3 hours....
  18. Stuart

    Stuart Trail Blazer

    Yes they do seem to go across more contours than I had hoped!

    One possibility I'm considering is train/bus to Somport then walk east to the lakes around Pic du Midi d'Ossau and mooch around those, especially to the south of the mountain. But to move on from there seems to involve more serious ascent...
  19. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Wandering around the lakes NE of Candanchu (above Astun) is a good bet for a few days, some great camping spots. The ski lift in Astun has bee operating in the summer when I've past through & would save a 400m climb.

    Another thought in the same area is the traverse from Lescon to Candanchu along the HRP route, ~40km not technical.
    Completed it twice in one & a bit days but there's lots of places to break it up into shorter manageable chunks for a 6yr old e.g. 10km.
    Final camp at Ibón de Estanés is a very pleasant spot & gives an easy 8km downhill to Candanchu for a long lunch:)

    Other good spots e.g. Ordessa are more difficult to access without a motor.
  20. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    I'd second Whiteburn's Lescun traverse. Another good option might be Estany de Sant Maurici - Great scenery without needing to do huge climbs - plenty of pretty lakes too! There are good bus links to Viella and Espot and the national park operates regular navette services to and from all the main access points to avoid long hike-ins and out (there's also a jeep service from Espot to the upper valley). You can camp just outside the core national park area, plenty of huts too and a good network of trails for route flexibility and round trips.
  21. Stuart

    Stuart Trail Blazer

    Thanks for the comments. I'm the kind of person who needs to talk something through to work out what I think so it's really helpful to have different suggestions.

    I've done most of that part of the HRP between Lescun-Candanchu so I know what you mean. But 40km for us would be a 5-6 day effort which I think is too much for him at this stage (and for me as I'd be carrying more or less everything). I don't want to put him off at an early age (this happened to me and I only rediscovered my love of the hills much later). I think I'm looking for shorter options or a good base from which to do day walks or overnighters. A bit like the Lake District. Actually why don't I just take him to the Lakes again? Sun, wildlife, lakes you can swim in...

    Aiguestortes - Estany de Sant Maurici looks amazing. But doesn't look very easily accessible on public transport from the UK.
    tom likes this.
  22. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    The best airport for Estany de Sant Maurici is probably Toulouse which is a big EasyJet hub. Trains to Luchon but bus links to Viela and on to Espot might be easier than onward travel from Luchon... Great hikes around Luchon but pretty steep long climbs - not so great for kids...
  23. Stuart

    Stuart Trail Blazer

    I don't want to fly, trying to reduce my personal carbon emissions, but good to know that there are train/bus combinations to Luchon, I wasn't aware of that one.

    I'm not quite sure what you're saying about buses from Luchon to Viela and Espot though. A quick look found that it's 40 minutes to Vielha but I can't find much about buses to Espot, seems you have to walk in. Is this right?
    tom likes this.
  24. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    Viela has a bus station and regular Toulouse and Barcelona as well as local services. Espost is only a short distance off the main road with regular bus lines - I seem to remember having seen buses in Espot too - but I got a lift after a few minutes at the road junction couple of years ago...
    From Espot, navette services run to the park boundary but also further up into the park which can save more of the initial climb. But its mostly nicely graded routes anyway until the scrambles further up which kids tend to like best in my experience.
  25. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    This is interesting. We also don't fly.

    Just looking into planning this year's trip, and we were looking to get into Poset/Aneto areas and hopefully Estany de St Mauricy . We will have 18 days all told. A circuit starting either Bagneres de Luchon or Vielha seems to be the way to do it.

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