Mont Perdu - Spur of the Esparrets
Ascent: This beautiful spur was discovered on 13 and 14 August 1973 by J, J and P Ravier.
From Barrage des Gloriettes, go up the Estaubé dale, pass the Brèche de Tuquerouye and descend on the Lac Glacé (comfortable bivouac). It takes 3h.
Go around Lac Glacé to the east, traverse Balcon de Pineta and a small plateau dominating the valley of Pineta. A succession of steps and cree (some difficult sections) leads, while descending slightly, to the base of the north-east slope of Mont-Perdu. Go up on the left a hundred metres to reach the base of the spur. Time 1h30.
The route follows a very characteristic spur (the third starting from the west) on the left side of the north-east foothills of Mont-Perdu. To the left of a featureless and black slab on the northern side of the spur, you reach the base steep pitch. Climb it via a chimney and benches in broken rocks. On the right side, you reach the horizontal and exposed crest intersected with two short steep pitches (UK-3a /US-5.3, IV +). Carry out a small rappel leading to the foot of a very steep pitch. Go up a crack (UK-4a /US-5.5) on the right to reach a corridor blocked by a boulder. Climb it (UK-5a /US-5.8) and on the left go to the edge of the ridge. On the left a dihedral leads to a platform (IV+/V). You reach a narrow crest and, via a deep chimney, emerge on the party ledges of the north-east shoulder of Mont-Perdu. A succession of steep pitches (II) leads to the snowy ridge of the eastern pass; pass it and on the left below cross a rock band at its weak point via an oblique trail on the left then on the right (UK-3a /US-5.3, III +). It reaches eastern slopes leading to the summit. It takes 7 to 9h.
Bibliography: - P. de Bellefon, les Pyrénées (100+belles), Denoël - R. Munsch, C. Ravier, R. Thivel, Passages Pyrénéens, Editions du Pin à Crochets
Descent: Via a clear corridor and south-west slopes, descend to Etang Glacé and climb to the pass of the Cylinder. Descend broad slopes on the north side, pass a steep pitch on the right then return to the left and descend a short chimney (II). From there, you reach the banks of frozen Lac Glacé without difficulty. Time 1h30
This limestone spur faces east.
Without exceeding UK-5a /US-5.8, the route is long.
Large and beautiful route in an exceptional setting.
Access: From Lourdes, take the Gavarnie road. At the Gèdre exit, take the Barrage des Gloriettes road and follow it until it ends.
Accommodation: A bivouac on the bank of Lac Glacé is recommended.
The text and images in this page are available
under a Creative Commons CC-by-sa licence.