Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Walking in the Pyrenees - A circular walk from le Chiroulet.

At the weekend we walked the circular route from le Chiroulet in the Lesponne valley via Lac d'Ourrec, the Col de Bareilles and Lac Bleu before descending back to the car at le Chiroulet. 

Lac Bleu in November 2016
And in May 2017

Having walked the straight up and down route to Lac Bleu back in November, this time wanted to access the high Alpine meadows beyond the lake and in particular enjoy the spring wildflowers for which the mountains are justly famous. We weren't disappointed.

A Meadow of Buttercups near Lac d'Ourrec

Gentians and Buttercups en route
The route is reckoned to take around seven hours, although somehow I'd remembered reading it to be closer to six. In the event, after many stops to take photos and breathers, paddle in the lakes, and partly because my feet became increasingly painful with the final descent, we were back at the car in just on eight hours. It doesn't seem to matter how far we go, or indeed whatever activity we do, it always seems to be just about an hour too long!

Pich d'Ouscouaou - time for a breather as we climb through the forest.
Looking down on Lac d'Ourrec.

Climbing out of the valley towards the col.

Nearing the top of the Col de Bareilles.

Lac Bleu from the Col de Bareilles.
The route is very well marked and worn and the only time we lost our way slightly was when the trail disappeared beneath the snow at the Col de Bareilles; rather than following the centre of the V straight down the valley we followed other tracks around the snow and took an unnecessary detour.

For details of the route (and many others) see this excellent website (in French).

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