This view is towards Pico Infierno. In 2013 I mostly followed the Spanish GR11 and walked to the base of Infierno. It’s a dry, cindery mountain and I told myself I didn’t miss much, when I was too tired for the final climb. As I descended the track to Panticosa I told myself the views were the same, but they were higher from Infierno. Logically that was true. I’m not sure I missed very much but looking now at Infierno I’d like to have photographs from there looking back here to Gran Fache.

It’s a quick process, learning to identify the mountains where you walk. It took me years in the Lake District, however, because that was the first place I did it. Is that the Scafells over there, I said to a chap at Crinkle Crags. That was when I realised I knew my way around. I wasn’t a Lake District beginner.

On my first Pyreenes trip, walking from Lescun to Arlet, I didn’t realise it was Pic du Midi d’Ossau projecting on the skyline; nor that I would be seeing more of her. Actually that was my second trip. My first trip was spent unsatisfactorily in the hostel at Lescun. It was autumn and I was hoping for good weather and not many people. The weather was appalling except for one blue sky day when I walked halfway up Pic d’Anie. I didn’t reach the top because of deep snow.

There were few people in autumn but I had to share my room with a British chap one night and a French party another. The former was bearable, the latter was not. For me it’s like noisy people coming into my bedroom at home. I’m tense, disturbed, can’t sleep, and wonder what I’m doing there, if it’s obvious what they are doing there.


Grande Fache Panorama 3

Sunday April 26, 2015