Canal Roya peak (2345m): classic winter initiation route for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing

If you drive past Formigal (the second largest Pyrenean ski resort offering 137 kilometers of marked slopes) just over the the Spanish-French border, from atop Col du Portalet a gorgeous valley lays out before you. At the center of it all, standing 2885 meters tall, is the “Riena” of Ossau Valley: Midi d’Ossau. One of … More Canal Roya peak (2345m): classic winter initiation route for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing

A modest and extremely accesible “tresmil” with epic views of Ordesa/Monte Perdido: Pico Robiñera (3004m)

Our last Fall-ish hike of the year. We snuck Pico Robiñera in literally the day before our first big snow fall. HALLELUJAH. These Pyrenean canyons, ravines, gullies and valleys are in dire need of a healthy blanket of frozen H20. I slept great the night before, no stress or worry. We got a late start, … More A modest and extremely accesible “tresmil” with epic views of Ordesa/Monte Perdido: Pico Robiñera (3004m)

For some of the best views of Tena Valley, climb these peaks: Pico Arriel (2824m) & Petit Arriel (2684m)

How we ended up climbing these two peaks is a simple story. Jorge pulled out the map of Valle de Tena and said, “this one.” We looked it up on the internet and were instantly allured. Then I read a blog post (in Spanish) about someone else’s experience and this hiker so appropriately described Pico … More For some of the best views of Tena Valley, climb these peaks: Pico Arriel (2824m) & Petit Arriel (2684m)

Sorrosal Waterfall: Hidden gem in Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park, no hiking involved

SNOW IS HERE! As we are preparing for wintry mountain outings, I can’t help but think of past excursions. Here’s one that requires no gear and no special clothes… just motivation to be out in the cold for about 20 minutes. If you’ve been in the Spanish Pyrenees or are planning a trip, you’ve undoubtedly … More Sorrosal Waterfall: Hidden gem in Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park, no hiking involved

Faja de las Flores: a classic hike in Ordesa Valley

With year-round accessibility, this stunning hike culminates in a stroll along a narrow ledge (“la Faja”) cut into the mountain face. It’s a 13-17 km (8-11 miles) route that can be circular* if you so choose, and has a cumulative elevation gain of about 1000 meters (3200 feet). *Should you choose to ascend or descend … More Faja de las Flores: a classic hike in Ordesa Valley

Garmo Negro, 3051 m: our first “tresmil”

Tallest peak (actually a volcano!) in Spain – Tenerife, Canary Islands Teide = 3,718 meters (12,198 ft) Tallest peak on the Peninsula – Sierra Nevadas, Granada, Andalusia Mulhacén = 3,482 meters (11,424 ft) Tallest peak in the Pyrenees – Spain / France Aneto = 3,404 meters (11,168 ft) I’m a California native and I grew … More Garmo Negro, 3051 m: our first “tresmil”

Pico Vallibierna 3067 m & Tuca de Culebras 3062 m from Refugio Cap de Llauset

When we have the time to visit Benasque Valley, we really try to make it count. This is the furthest valley in the Aragonese Pyrenees from home and we still have a lot of summits to bag in this area. In the early summer of 2017 we crested two beauties in Posets-Maladeta Natural Park. They … More Pico Vallibierna 3067 m & Tuca de Culebras 3062 m from Refugio Cap de Llauset

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, … More Embalse de Llauset: Pyrenean reservoir, no hiking necessary!

Ibón de Bernatuara: medieval bridge & glacial lake in Ordesa Valley

Ibón is a Spanish term specific to the Pyrenees; it’s a Pyrenean lake. After some trolling, turns out there might be a translation: “tarn” <— has anyone else heard of this word? It doesn’t matter, doesn’t “ibón” sound like pure magic? To me it sounds like endless sparkles. And speaking of, this hike starts from … More Ibón de Bernatuara: medieval bridge & glacial lake in Ordesa Valley