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The High Point

July 10, 2010 5:45 pm

Today began with a short sharp climb from the refuge up to Col Inférior des Literoles which, at 2983m, is the highest that the HRP goes. We had a great climb up, both feeling pretty strong after our two half-days. Reaching the high-point of the route felt great, but obviously we couldn’t leave it at… Read more

Section Two – Complete

July 2, 2010 3:25 pm

The second section of the HRP came to an end today, with a great climb from Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube, followed by a dull descent into Gavarnie. I left the refuge at 07:40 for the climb up to Hourquette d’Ossoue (2734m) with a few early morning clouds clearing, but the weather didn’t seem to… Read more

A month's extra snow

July 1, 2010 2:18 pm

Because there’s a lot more snow around than usual, there’s also a lot more water in the stream and rivers. The path I was following came to a crossing after about 30 minutes this morning, but the water was way too high to cross. Someone had kindly placed some big metal pipes every couple of… Read more

Lost in the Snow

June 30, 2010 5:22 pm

When I was writing about Port du Lavédan yesterday I didn’t mention a minor injury to my foot, as it didn’t seem important at the time. I’d been standing almost still and my left boot had slipped between 2 rocks, one above the other, so the side of my foot had been squashed between the… Read more

The Fear is Here

June 29, 2010 4:59 pm

The guidebook I’m using gives each day a grade to indicate how hard it is. Grade 3 is a short easy walk, grade 2 is a “classic HRP day” with a fair amount of ascending and descending, and grade 1 is “suitable only for experienced, well-trained mountaineers.” The vast majority of days are grade 2,… Read more

The Mighty Face Flannel

June 28, 2010 2:19 pm

Ford Prefect almost got it right when he advised Arthur Dent that a towel was the most important thing to take with him, but personally I’d always take a face flannel if space or weight were restricted. The flannel has proved its worth time and again: you can wash with limited water supplies, e.g. using… Read more

The first orage

June 26, 2010 1:08 pm

When I first arrived in Lescun on Thursday, I met an American couple outside the post office, who told me that England had drawn their third match of the World Cup and been knocked out. I don’t know whether that was an honest mistake or a wind-up, but it wasn’t until Klaas showed me the… Read more

Reading Material

March 13, 2010 12:10 am

I dropped into Stanfords earlier this evening, hoping to find a copy of the new guidebook I’m going to take to the mountains, and left about an hour later and over £120 worse off! Last time we were in the Pyrenees we took the original guidebook written by Georges Veron when he came up with… Read more

Next time, remember the crampons

February 1, 2010 10:03 pm

Training for the Pyrenees has begun! Pete Smith and I spent the weekend in Snowdonia, where we hoped to climb some of the Welsh 3000s, but the weather was much worse than forecast and we never actually made a summit. The plan had been to start with Tryfan, head along the Glyders, then even consider… Read more