Pic de ‘'l’Homme stands high above Lac d’Aygue Longue at the head of a long valley south of Ax-les-Thermes. Gary & Debbie had shown us photos of the ridges and the lake and highly recommended it as a summit on a circular route from the end of the track up the valley. Almost as soon as we got out of the car the low clouds were chasing us up the valley. Our initial optimism was replaced with doubt and then it seemed as though this would be another day when the unseasonable weather would get the better of us.
Eventually we climbed out of the clouds into sunshine and looked back over a huge inversion. The peaks and ridges above us we all clear and all we had to be wary of was the afternoon storm although that seemed a long way away. The clouds high above us and below us seemed stable and it looked like it might stay like this for the rest of the day.
By the time we reached the lake along with another two pairs of walkers the clouds above were building and darkening. All 6 seemed uncertain about continuing but all decided to do so, seemingly in the knowledge that turning round would always be an option. Almost as soon as we set off for the Col de la Parade the cloud started moving up from the valley and we were engulfed again.
Again we were able to climb out of the inversion to enjoy the spectacular views in warm sunshine. These conditions were much more than we could have hoped for and a day that threatened to be a cloudy disappointment turned into a spectacular one.