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Spending a night in a refugio (mountain hut) high in the Pyrenees is an unforgettable experience, allowing you to explore areas out of reach of day-hikers. This eight-day guided tour covers the wild upper climes of the Valle de Tena and the canyons of Ordesa National Park – a truly epic adventure!
Cleaving Spain from France, the mighty Pyrenees range is as diverse as it is spectacular. In the west the slopes are densely wooded, with waterfalls, gaves (torrential rivers) and meadows of wild flowers, while to the east the terrain is surprisingly wild and barren, dominated by soaring granite masses. The central Pyrenees are snowy with glaciers on the northern slopes, offering some fine skiing and mountaineering, as well as more obscure pursuits like dog-mushing (canine-powered snow-based activities)! Better still is the walking; three long-distance footpaths run the length of the range: the GR10 across the northern slopes, the GR11 in the south and the high altitude HRP traversing the central peaks – a hiker’s paradise!
This eight day tour follows the GR11, stopping off at two of the best-situated refugios in the Pyrenees, perfect for exploring trails less trodden. Refugio Respomuso is set amongst several 3000m peaks in the upper Valle de Tena, from where you can tackle Pico Tebbarai (2916m) and enjoy some incredible vistas. You’ll then take a one-day break before heading to Refugio Goriz, sat beneath the mighty Monte Perdido (3355m) in Ordesa National Park. You’ll make an ascent of the peak, crossing snowfields and being rewarded with breathtaking views of the Ordesa, Pineta and Anisclo canyons and into France. The final day’s walking sees you navigate homewards through the Anisclo Canyon, with its soaring waterfalls and sculpted limestone. The expedition finishes with a slap-up meal back in Panticosa.
A good level of fitness and hill-walking experience is essential, as you’ll be making ascents of between 800 and 1400 metres most days. You may find yourself walking up to 10 hours a day. The routes aren’t particularly technical – the snowfields of Monte Perdido may require crampon use - but there are some exposed sections, so confidence and sure-footedness are a must.
The pace of the tour is lively, designed to make the most of your time in the mountains, so expect a few early starts. Rest assured there is ample time to kick back and relax at the end of each day, whether in the hotel bar or a comfy refugio armchair.
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.