Pic de Mont Valier

  • Pic de Mont Valier
  • 2838 m.
  • Primary factor: 520 m.
  • French Pyrenees
  • Location: North 42:47.850, East 001:05.150
  • Climbed in July 1994


How to get there: The charming village of St. Girons (south of Toulouse) is a good starting point. From there it is about 20km south-west to the trailhead and parking area (Riberot).
Route description: There are two different trails leading up from the valley to the mountain hut Refuge des Estagnous at the base of Mont Valier. We have hiked both trails, they are nice and easy, the easternmost perhaps a bit longer in time as it gains more elevation which is lost on the very last section down to the hut. The hut can be recommended for an afternoon and night stay, they served us an excellent four course dinner with wine for a very reasonable price (everything being carried up by mule or donkey). From the hut the trail enters more rocks and gets a bit steeper as it winds up to the pass Coll de Faustin (2653m). From the pass the trail easily gains the summit.
Comments: The Pyrenees is characterized with relatively large elevation difference and a lot of open grass slopes compared to most other mountain ranges. We traversed along the narrow top ridge forming the French Spanish border towards west after returning to Coll de Faustin. This involved some scrambling and eventually the ridge became steep enough that a rope would have been in order. Part of the ridge is also loose and rotten rock of an unpleasant nature. At the end we returned back to the pass Coll de la Pala de la Calavera (2522m), an important route during World War II. Returned to the valley by way of the pass Port de Barlonguère.