Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pic Carlit Challenge July 2014

Steve recently completed the 4 day Pic Carlit Challenge with Pyrenees Mountain Adventure and had a great time summiting Pic Carlit on Day 4 (2921m/9583 feet).

Steve with the Twin Perics in the distance. Ascended both on Day 2.

In his own words:

What a fantastic week! 
Having walked mainly in England, I maybe underestimated the 'Challenge' part of the Pic Carlit Challenge. Four days walking and four nights wild camping (my choice). Wow! But it was worth each single drop of sweat and every aching muscle. 
Thanks Paul for your magnificent leadership. Your comprehensive knowledge of the area, not only in respect of the navigation but also the flora and fauna, was impressive. It was great that your itinerary was so flexible, even providing opportunities for some extra peak bagging. 
Your extraordinary patience, without being patronising, certainly inspired me to achieve more than I thought I was capable of.  It was really easy to get on with you. You were sociable but instinctively knew when I needed space to myself. It was an experience that will remain with me always. 
Good luck for future expeditions.


Summit of Grand Peric

Sunrise from campsite on morning of Day 3

Campsite the morning of Day 4

360 degree panorama from the summit of Pic Carlit

More information about completing the trek with Pyrenees Mountain Adventure can be found here:!pyrenees-summer-treks/c15px
Steve chose to complete the 4 day trek with wild camps (carrying all his food, stove and fuel, tent and sleeping bag) but the option exists to stay in mountain huts each night meaning a less heavy rucksack.

Pyrenees D of E Gold Expedition July 2014 with Simon Langton School, Canterbury.

Team Wizards

Team Fat Fingers
A group of 12 students from Simon Langton Boys School made the journey from Canterbury to the Eastern Pyrenees to complete their 4 day/3 night Gold D of E Expedition with Pyrenees Mountain Adventure.

The trip included a training day before and a rest and relaxation day (visiting the castle in Carcassonne) after the of the expedition. (2 - 8 July  2014)

In the the words of the assessor:

(*Insert name*) and (*his/her*) team successfully completed one of the most arduous Gold expeditions I have assessed. The expedition was centred around the Puig Peric, deep in the French Pyrenees mountains. The team averaged 10 hour mountain days, reaching a height of 2600m on their 3rd day. 
(*Insert name*) and (*his/her*) team demonstrated great personal determination, which was enhanced by a fantastic sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Despite very tough conditions, including torrential rain, thunder, lightning, snow patches, high temperatures and extremely difficult terrain at times, (*Insert name*) and (*his/her*) team remained in high spirits, keeping each other motivated through humour, encouragement and obvious great friendship. Small but important lessons were learnt in navigation and campsite selection, but all in all a brilliantly executed Gold expedition, which really embodied the ethos of the award. 
A huge note of thanks to the 1st class safety supervision team who made it possible.
Mo! ML
Fantastic scenery - Pic Carlit

Wildlife - Mouflon

Challenging Weather conditions on Day 4

Post expedition rest and relaxtion. Visting Carcassonne Castle

The staff Dream Team reunited again

Commemorative Chemin de la Liberté/Freedom Trail July 2014

This years Commemorative Freedom Trail (10 - 13 July 2014) saw over a 100 people walking along one of the World War 2 escape routes from France into Spain. Mainly from England and France but over 10 countries represented.

Snow conditions meant that walking into Spain across the border was not possible on Day 4. Instead walkers were bused to Esterri for the end of walk celebrations.

We walked in the footsteps of the escapees and evaders (among them shot down Allied airmen, Jews, and young French men called up for forced labour) attempting to escape Nazi oppression during World War 2 and the helpers that guided them across the Pyrenees.  We walked and we remembered.......

Photos copyright R. Eychenne

 Photos copyright E. Aromin

Facebook page for 2014 Commemorative Chemin/Freedom Trail