Sunday 22 February 2015

Estanhets deth Port to Port de Ratera de Colomers.

Heading uphill to the Coth de Podo on a lovely sunny morning.

Looking back to the lakes where  we had camped.

Estanh Gelat at 2600m.

First col crossed we headed down to the Lac de Podo.

Time for a break and dry the dew off the tent.

I think that's the Tuc de Pogo 2731m.  We came through the col just to the right.

View from the second col of the day.  Port de Ratera d'Espot, 2572m.  We hung around until everyone went and camped up for the night.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Embassament de Cavallers to Circ de Colomers

Bus station in Boi.  We got a mini bus to the Embassament de Cavallers.

Another cold sunny morning.

The way ahead from the end of the lake is up through the granite to the hut above the Estany Negre.

View back.

Dawne battling up to the col.

Arrival at the Refugi Joan Ventosa i Calvell at 2215m.

After a good dinner we headed up past the Estany de Travessani for the pass (Port de Caldes at 2568m)

After a very long day we found a cow free campsite in the Circ de Colomers near the Estanhets deth Port at 2300m.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Out and In the Aiguestortes

Next day was a bit sunnier and we headed up towards the Collada dels Gavatxos, 2667m.

We were surprised how cold it was even in the sun and the Montane zip offs stayed zipped on.  Note that we all wore trail shoes.  Dawne and I in Sportiva Raptors  ( I think I originally heard about these from Martin Rye's blog) and Ailsa and James in Salomons.  None of us suffered any blisters.  I remember being told by a mountain leader assessor that trail shoes were no good in rocks and boots are needed for ankle support.  Can't ever of tried them I reckon as this is one of the rockiest places I've been.

Back into the Aiguestortes.

Yet more lakes in the valley beyond,  the Estanys dela Gavatxos.  I don't think I can actually say that word.

James looks for the next '3 stone' cairn.  We found that the path was a lot harder to find on this section.

We found an idyllic place to stop for a rest and have something to eat.  The tent was damp from dew so I spread it out to dry. That's one of the things I liked about the Mariposa sack- it was possible just to stuff the wet tent into the mesh on the back.

Ailsa and Dawne with the Golite Pinnacle sacks.  I  was quite fond of mine but always found the hip belt a bit ineffective.

Which way now bats?

Estany Perdut.

We took Sawyer Mini  filters and Aquamira drops and had no problem finding water.

Fatigue was setting in as we headed for the 4 wheel drive taxis at the Planell der Sant Esperit via a long walk past the Estany Llong.

We got the last room in a hotel in Boi and polished off two plates of patatas bravas,  before getting cleaned up for a proper meal later on.

Monday 1 September 2014

Backpacking in and out of the Aiguestortes

Wasn't keen on getting up as there was a frost on the tents but glad I did as I caught the sunrise shining on the Pic de la Mainera 2906m.

It looked like it was going to be a cloudy day so we took the opportunity to get packed up whilst the sun shone.

We then climbed to a small peak at  2722m to look down into the Estanys dels Vidals d' Amunt.
It was an easy descent from there to the Pas del'Os and the GR11 to the Refugi Colomina.

Despite our rucksacks bulging with dehydrated food we went in for tortilla and jamon.

We then headed back into the hills up the Estany Tort to camp below the Collada dels Gavatxos.
The last time I was here the place was crawling with cows and it was difficult to find a campsite that was flat, rock free and wasn't covered in cow muck.

We finally got camped up between the Estany Eixerola and the Estany de Castiesco.
The cows had not wandered this far yet but their bells could be heard jangling in the distance.

I'm airing the Z Packs double quilt in the photo.  This has damp proof down and weighs less than 900g.  This is approximately the weight of one sleeping bag.  The tent on the left is my old Solar 2.2, which as you can imagine weigh 2.2Kg.  The tent Dawne and I used was the Tarptent single skin Stratospire which has acres of room and only weighs around 1200g.  Ok a bit obsessive over weight, but it is my hobby and I'm not keen of lugging huge weights up hills any more.  I aimed for a base weight of 6 Kg and probably came out at about 6.5Kg.

Dawne modelling the quilt and the  superb ultra light Berghaus Vapourlight jacket.