Petit Vignemale - Northern spur - Petit Vinyamala - Bigorre - Ordesa - France

Petit Vignemale - Northern spur

Petit Vignemale - Bigorre - Ordesa - France

Min / max altitude1465m / 3032m
Duration1 day
Main facingNE
Route typeloop_hut
GearCrampones para el acceso, algún friend y fisurero, 3 pitones "lames", piolet
Glacier gear required

Ascent: This spur was effected by R. Cazenave, Ch. Cornélius, H. Paradis, A. Subot, on 6 August 1947, This Alpine route is ideal for initiating yourself for the particular rock of Vignemale.

For the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, after the Pountas parking lot, follow the track of pont d’Espagne for 300 meters and head left to a waymarked track which leads to Lac de Gaube and then to the refuge. It takes 2h30. It is also possible to use Lac de Gaube chair lift but this solution does not save much time. For the Bayssellance refuge, follow the steep and marked walkway which leads to the bottom of the Ossoue dale then to the refuge. It takes 2h45.

From the Oulettes or Bayssellance refuge, you reach the Hourquette d’Ossoue via a waymarked track then traverse to the side until the base of the wall. It takes 1h30 from Oulettes or 30 minutes from Bayssellance.

Start the spur in its lowest point via a ramp which goes up from right to left (II). Cross the wall which stops it via the left and return to the right in the small dihedral which dominates (IV +). Return to the left towards an ophite seam that you go up on two pitches (III +, steps of UK-4a /US-5.5). Leave the seam to traverse to the right on small ledges (UK-3a /US-5.3). It goes directly up to reach a cleft which diagonally cuts the main axis of the spur. Continue straight (UK-3a /US-5.3) to reach a small notch located behind a gendarme. Traverse first on the right the wall which dominates the notch then climb it directly (UK-3a /US-5.3). Continue towards the glacier, definitely on the right of the edge of the spur. Traverse a ledge then a chimney in characteristic ochre rock (III +). The ridge becomes easier. Pass a gendarme on the left and pass over the notch after it. Then you arrive at the upper part of the face, first you go up via an unstable corridor then by the rocks of its right bank (II). It takes 4h30.

Bibliography: P. de Bellefon, Les Pyrénées (100+belles), Denoël. R. Munsch, C. Ravier, R. Thivel, Passages Pyrénéens, Editions du Pin à Crochets.

Descent: You reach the Hourquette d’Ossoue via the cree of the eastern slope then the approach route. It takes 30 minutes to Bayssellance, or 1h15 to Oulettes.

This route gets the sun from the morning, in particular on its eastern side that is reached at the end of 2 pitches.

Vignemale is made up of limestones and of broken schists where flakes are numerous. The rock is generally sound in the classic routes but always requires a certain vigilance. There is never much equipment. The pegging is sometimes difficult, flexible picks are very useful. Ice axes and crampons are useful for all the approaches.

Pleasant climbing in a spectacular environment. The rock sometimes requires certain attention.

Access: For the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, after Cauterets follow the Pont d’Espagne road to the Pountas parking lot (paid). For the Bayssellance refuge, from Gavarnie, take the Barrage d’Ossoue road (prohibited in winter and in spring) where you can park.

Accommodation: Oulettes de Gaube refuge (property of the C.A.F., Tel.: 05 62 92 62 97). This is the best start point because it is located at the foot of the northern side. Bayssellance refuge, (property of the C.A.F., tel.: 05 62 92 40 25). Its location does not make it possible to observe the north side the day before a climb. Its use is justified only for Petit Vignemale routes because the approach and the return are then very fast.

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