Embalse de Llauset: Pyrenean reservoir, no hiking necessary!

In the Pyrenees there are a select number of (glacial) lakes in which you can swim. Obviously this depends on each explorer’s tolerance to freezing cold water. It’s easy science that at higher altitudes and no matter how strong the sun is shining, the creek/basin/spring/pond/river/lake/lakelet/lagoon/tarn/loch water is going to be cold AF. Like many mountaineers, I am usually able to find the courage to strip of my clothes and jump in, as a reward or passage of right for completing the hike.

BUT SOMETIMES you don’t have to hike. Rollin up on 4 wheels, walking unhurriedly to your picnic/chill spot for the day, which is on the shore of a mountain lake or reservoir & protected by immense mountain walls.. this my dear readers, is a treat. And I am thrilled to share this spot with you:

Embalse de Llauset


This emerald pool happened to be the starting point of a very lovely hike up to a very lovely couple of peaks (Vallibierna 3067 m & Tuca de Culebras 3062 m) that we crested at the beginning of summer.

Views of Vallibierna & Tuca de Culebra peaks from the reservoir dam
We parked on the side of the dam a short time before dusk and headed up to the mountain refuge “Cap de Llauset” that sits at 2425 m, where we spent the night and prepared for our summit adventure the next day. The refuge is approximately an 1.5 hour hike from the reservoir and if you plan on summiting these peaks, by staying the night at the refuge you power through 300 m of elevation gain making the next day almost a breeze.

IMG_0002 embalse llauset

Cap de Llauset mountain refuge from below.

IMG_0007 refugio
Good morning from Refugio Cap de Llauset!

It’s a brilliant spot if you:

–  have a car
– are in Posets-Maladeta Natural Park (more specifically near the town of “Aneto”)
– want a taste of the frigid, glacial agua

Happy dipping

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