Whiteburn's Wanderings

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

HRP Pocket Guide Rev 1

Well it’s taken me a time to finally get around to it but the first revision of the original HRP Pocket Guide is now complete. Nothing significant has changed but I did find a few minor errors/ typo’s & thanks to some feedback I’ve clarified some of the description.
Another variation has been included; a rough stage across the barren karst landscape from Source de Marmitou to Col de Pau, 2.15 Var. This variation bypasses Lescun hence additional supplies would be needed to be carried from Les Aldudes to gain Candanchu.
The Word, GPX & kml files are stored within a Google Drive folder found HERE.

IMG_2250 (Large)

I’ve been asked a few times what would be my ideal HRP route; well that’s a difficult one with any of the routes/ variations having their advantages/ disadvantages & individuals will have different objectives e.g. fastest, easiest, toughest, most scenic, ascend peaks, avoiding staffed Refuges, use Refuges, etc. For me the ideal route would be as follows:
Section 1: I’d use the variation bypassing La Rhune, 1.3 Var, I find the primary route an mundane deviation; then take bypass of Arizkun, 1.6 Var & 1.7 Var, to resupply at Les Aldudes.
Section 2: Follow the GR12 variation, 2.5 & 2.6 Var, which avoids black top & unnecessary descent. I’d bypass Iranty again using the GR 12 variant, 2.9 Var, to rejoin the primary route on the Millagate Ridge for the ascent of Pic d’Ochy. Then finally the variation bypassing Lescun, 2.15 Var, which provides some specular scenery.
Section 3: The primary route as described, resupply at Candanchu
Section 4: The primary route via Refuge Larribet represents a significant deviation & height loss, hence I’d opt for the variation via Refugio Respomuso, 4.7 Var, then ascent to Port de la Peyre-Saint-Martin to rejoin the primary route over Col de Cambales. Resupply at Gavarnie.
Section 5; The primary route as described, resupplying at Benasque.
Section 6: Only to be used if the weather is really poor, the primary route, Section 5, is far better.
Section 7 & 8: I’d recommend the variation bypassing Salardu via Port Bonaigua, 7.7 Var & 7.8 Var followed by 8.1 Var & 8.2 Var, resupplying at Arinsal.
Section 9 & 10: I like the variation via resupply at Pas de la Casa, 9.6 Var & 9.7 Var, followed by 10.1 Var & 10.2 Var. Resupply at Bolquere.
Section 11: The primary route as described, resupplying at Arles-Sur-Tech.
Section 12: The variation via Roc St Sauveur, 12.2 Var, is recommended since it avoids unnecessary descent.
Section 13: The primary route as described.

Well I hope fellow backpackers enjoy the route & please don’t forget to drop me a line with any corrections/ updates/ suggestions.

Postscript: I’ve gratefully received number of comments/ edits/ suggestions from fellow trekkers though the season & there maybe more to come yet. An update to the West – East & East – West Pocket Guides is in preparation & I anticipate publication by the end of 2019……….so watch this space.


10 comments on “HRP Pocket Guide Rev 1

  1. Pirineum
    January 3, 2019

    Great job! Thanks again for a top guide 🙂

  2. anthropoceneexploratory
    January 26, 2019

    Thank you Paul. This is excellent. Do you have your route in tabulated form by chance? (i.e. within a spreadsheet).

    I’m endeavouring to make a day-by-day comparison to Tom’s forthcoming cicerone route.

    • Paul Atkinson
      January 26, 2019

      I’ve dropped a Excel file in the folder, would be surprised if there wasn’t a difference. The data on the spreadsheet is as computed by Garmin Basecamp. Other programmes, gps tracks etc will all come up other numbers.

  3. anthropoceneexploratory
    January 26, 2019

    Thank you so much.

  4. Fuat
    June 11, 2019

    Hi Paul,
    thanks for all the great info and the detailed files about the HRP that you’ve prepared. It’s helping me a great deal preparing my HRP-thruhike beginning 25 June.
    According to Meteopyrenees it’s still snowing in most parts above 1.000m all the way from Pays Basque to the Ariège, but I’m hoping for it to end before I hit the trail, as there’s no space left in my backpack for skis :-D.
    Greetings from Germany,

    • Paul Atkinson
      June 11, 2019

      I wouldn’t be too concerned by the snowfall at this time of year, it soon disappears. I’ve seen 7cm fall in August & disappear in 24hrs. Have a good trip.

  5. Fuat
    June 15, 2019

    Thanks, I’m looking forward to it 🙂

  6. Florian
    August 30, 2019

    Thanks for this great support during the preparation. Your notes were amazing. Used them on the entire hike. Spot on!

    Thanks for the great work!

    • Paul Atkinson
      August 30, 2019

      Glad you had a successful trip, the Pyrenees are an amazing place.
      Any suggestions or updates for the next revision would be much appreciated.

      • Florian
        September 3, 2019

        Hi Paul. As I said the notes were great! Of course the closer you were in a city or pasture the harder it became with the notes. Then you had so many dirt trails which might have only been there since this season that I found it hard to rely on the notes only and took a wrong trail a few times. Most of the time they ended up in the right direction anyways but here the GPS or even Google Maps helped a lot.

        In the high and remote parts the notes were great again. I only found three minor issues:

        1. After Alos d’Isisl: On the climb out of the valley when you pass the last two little barns. It says to follow the obvious path. But actually about 200-300m after the barns the obvious (wider) continues straight and almost flat into the valley. There is a smaller track which spikes off to the left and climbs steeper. But way smaller. This is actually the one you have to take. I ended up bushwacking up the thill when I checked the GPS and found out that I was 150m off track after 5 minutes.

        2. Lac de Mar route in the GPS files and descriptions could be included as alternate. Really liked it.

        3. Between Port de La Peyre Saint-Martin and Col de Cambales there was one misleading description. After you turn left / back at the Port you follow the trail up (almost opposite direction from wehere you come up the valley) come to a bit of flat section before the trail turns right and climbs again. Also markers are present. At 2450 there is a fork. In your notes it says “keep right” which is misleading at that point because the trail you have to take turns off left and the wrong one (leading to Gran Facha?) goes straight / a bit to the right.

        Let me know if you need more details.

        Cheers Florian

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This entry was posted on December 28, 2018 by in HRP Pocket Guide and tagged , , .

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