Summer in the Pyrenees is perfect for a Tarptent Rainbow. Conditions are generally warm if not hot, settled, and with little or no rain. I use sandals too. For six backpacking trips this has worked very well. It is however a calculated risk because if conditions deteriorate for a pronounced period of time, I’m in trouble. Last year, walking the GR11, it was like winter for several hours and I considered settling for the night in a small shelter. I decided to head off to the Viados refuge, reasoning it was downhill and conditions would improve. I was cold and wet for a few hours only. As with any mountains the weather can be unpredictable and wild. Snow is possible in summer, and Pyrenean rain can be torrential. I experienced it once at the end of a trip in 2009 on the camp site at Luz Saint Sauveur. I wondered if my Tarptent would survive. If it didn’t, there was the option of an emergency retreat into town. This year the weather was good except for one or two days of rain and cloud. If you haven’t tried wild camping you should do so. Imagine the joy of sleeping and waking as you see in this photograph. In the Pyrenees you can have dinner in mountain huts then retire to a peaceful tent. That means you don’t carry so much weight, the food is better, and you have conversation in the evening. Some parts of the HRP are remote and solitary. I didn’t like that. If I walk alone in the day I like company in the evening.

 

Pyrenees Mountains: Lac Arremoulit Camping

Friday October 17, 2014