Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roc Del Boc

Pyrenees Mountain Adventure uses an eco - friendly trailside lodge as a base for its 7 night summer walking holiday. The lodge is in Planès, a small hamlet not far from Mont - Louis in the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Nature Park at the base of the Planès Valley.

The Roc del Boc (2774m) is one of several peaks that tower above the Planès Valley. It was hot work as the track climbed steeply up from Planès and I  was pleased with the overcast weather at the start of the day, and the cooler temperatures. The cloud cover remained low all day although the sun did periodically break through. The first time was as I came out of the forest onto the broad ridge which led to the first peak, Pic de l'Orri (2561m), which made me feel great.

The Pic de l'Orri
The snow cover that there was gave the mountain animals away - their tracks clearly visible.

Squirrel Tracks
As well as the tracks, there was other evidence of the mountain animals - their droppings! 

Capercaillie Droppings
I saw a  Capercaillie break cover noisily from a Mountain Pine. The Gaillic origins of the bird's name mean 'horse of the woods'.

Beyond the Pic de l'Orri the ridge narrowed, becoming a Crib Goch like 'knife edge' with steep drops to each side. It was exhilarating scrambling along towards the Roc del Boc hidden in the cloud further on.

The Roc del Boc hidden in cloud.
There were great views back along the ridge.

The view back towards the Pic de l'Orri
Far below me in the Planès valley and I could see the frozen Planès Valley pond. Across the Valley, the Cambre d'Ase in its winter coat.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.- Paul Dudley White

Petit Peric

With the very hot and sunny weather the day of this walk, it was hard to believe it was January. Snow cover was what the avalanche forecast calls 'intermittent', but it was there in sufficient quantities to be able to snowshoe for some of the time.

View of the Petit Peric from the Camporells Refuge
The view from in front of the Camporells Refuge is one of my favourites. I sat in the sun for a long time enjoying the silence and view across the frozen lake towards the smaller of the twin Peric peaks.

Later in the day, I enjoyed a late lunch on the summit of the Petit Peric.

View from the Petit Peric summmit
“Being in nature, we are balanced, made well, reconnected with the Primordial” - Andreas Cohr

Friday, January 21, 2011

Holiday Dates 2011

Pyrenees Mountain Adventure has published the dates for the Summer Walking Holidays it will offer in 2011. The dates are:

July 13 – 20
July 27 - August 3                               
August 10 - 17                                     
August 24 - 31                                     
September 28 - October 5

For more information about the holidays and how to book:

Other Dates For Your Diary:

9th January. National Snowshoe Day.
2nd February.  Festival of the Bear, Prats de Mollo.
April 15th – 23rd. Religious Music Festival, Perpignan.
June. Transhumance Festival, Pyrenees wide. Cows, sheep and horses take to the roads and tracks to climb to the high summer pastures.
23rd June Midsummer Day/Feast of St John. Fire lit on the summit of Pic Canigou.
Last Sunday in June. Smugglers walk Osséja.
Penultimate Sunday in July. Sheep dog trails in Osséja.
31st July - 7th August. Vernet Les Bains Festival. Includes the Vernet - Canigou summit - Vernet walk (6th August) and race (7th August). 34km, +4268m height gain.
3rd week in August. Merens Horse Fair, Bouan, Ariege.
15/16th October. Grape Harvest Festival, Banyuls sur Mer.
5th November. Horse Fair, Puigcerda.

“Modern travelling is not travelling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.” John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bonne Année

2011 is the Year of the Pyrenees.

This collaborative project, between the 3 countries that share the Pyrenees (France, Spain and Andorra), aims to raise the profile of the mountain region, highlighting a rich, diversified and dynamic territory.

A year to (re)discover the Pyrenees!

More information here.

In 2012, the Pyrenees will be European Region of the Year.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2011


'Find beauty; be still' W H Murray (1913 - 1996)