When I came up here in 2009 I was exhausted. Two French chaps inquired about me. Ca va? Oui, mais je suis fatigue. Perhaps you need to drink and eat something he said which was probably true. This year I felt much stronger. This is about two thirds up the climb to Col d’Arrious and it was only here I stopped to eat, a long way into the day, motivated by the outlook. This was a photographic lunch. For several hours the skies had been clear but then clouds were floating over Midi d’Ossau. Refuge Pombie, where I’d camped and ate the previous night, is below the peak. I sat here and ate for forty minutes, watching the view constantly hoping the clouds would disperse. They didn’t, became worse in fact, and more cloud drifted over above the valley heights which made me think the day would deteriorate. As I sat here a couple walked past, walking the High Level Route. I’d seen them the night before at Pombie. Best stay ahead of it, the chap said about the cloud. It was an expression I liked, because it linked walking effort to the changes in the skies. He knew me from my web site. Yes, James Lomax, he said, because he’d researched the Pyrenees. No way! his lady friend said. They were from North Carolina. The chap was Irish by birth. An hour later at Col d’Arrious they decided to avoid the Passage d’Orteig which is a steep rock face climb with a steel cable.


Pyrenees Photography: Back to Midi d'Ossau

Monday October 6, 2014