Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Pic de l’Homme – 04 August

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.

20140804_001_Pyrenees2014-734-EditThe end of the track and the start of the race with the low clouds

20140804_003_Pyrenees2014-764-EditLooking up the valley towards the lake

20140804_002_Pyrenees2014-753-EditLooking up the valley towards the lake

 

20140804_004_Pyrenees2014-765-EditLooking back down the valley towards Ax

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.

 

20140804_005_Pyrenees2014-794-EditLac d’Aygue Longue

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.

 

20140804_006_untitled-802Lac d’Aygue Longue with the clouds drifting in

20140804_007_Pyrenees2014-811-EditLooking back down to Lac d’Aygue Longue after the clouds cleared

20140804_008_Pyrenees2014-820-EditLooking south east from Col de la Parade

20140804_009_Pyrenees2014-825-EditSouth east to the Pic d’Esquine d’Ase

20140804_010_Pyrenees2014-851-EditPic de l’Homme with the inversion filling the valley

20140804_011_Pyrenees2014-854-EditLooking south west to the lower of the two summits

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.

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