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Saint-Béat to Montségur (The Double Winter Traverse of the Pyrenees - 2022)


Day 10 (9th January 2022) : Saint Béat to Artigascou cabin. Highest point = Pic de l'Etang (1816m) and Pic d'Escales (1816m). 12km, 1400m of positive height gain. Conditions = rain, heavy snowfall from 1000m, very strong winds, very cold, bad visibility.

Day 11 (10th January 2022) : Artigascou cabin to Piéjau cabin. Highest point = Point above the Col de Piéjau (1490m). 8km, 650m of positive height gain. Conditions = torrential rain up to 200m for over 30 hours, strong winds.

Day 12 (11th January 2022) : Piéjau cabin to Estrade cabin. Highest point = Le Puech (1669m). 9km, 1050m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sun, a bit nippy in the shade, fairly hard snow.

Day 13 (12th January 2022) : Estrade cabin to Sentein. Highest point = Pic de la Calabasse or "Pumpkin Peak" (2210m) - also the highest point on the whole of the traverse up till now! 12km, 1150m of positive height gain. Conditions = icy snow on the north faces, soft snow on the south faces, only a thin layer below 1500m. Sunny - the first time I've had 2 sunny days in a row on the whole of the traverse!

Day 14 (13th January 2022) : Sentein to Castillon-en-Couserans. Highest point = Tuc de Puech (1401m). 14km, 800m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sunny, but nippy in the shade. First and only day on the first 2 parts of the traverse where I didn't need my snowshoes.

Day 15 (14th January 2022) : Castillon-en-Couserans to Seix. Highest point = Cap de Bouirex (1873m). 21km, 1550m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sunny, but nippy in the shade and in the early morning. Hard snow in the morning but fantastic in the sun.

Day 16 (15thJanuary 2022) : Seix to Ercé. Highest point = Tuc de la Goulauze (1500m). 17km, 1250m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sunny but freezing all day in the shade. Snow from 1100m on the north or 1500m on the south.

Day 17 (16th January 2022) : Ercé to Courtal de Lamarda cabin. Highest point = Tuc de la Coume (1745m). 14km, 1400m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sunny, freezing all day in the valleys. Varied snow. Wonderful full moon!

Day 18 (17th Januray 2022) : Cabane de Courtal de Lamarda to Vicdessos. Highest point = Pic des Trois Seigneurs (2199m). 16km, 1300m of positive height gain. Conditions = Sunny. Freezing in the morning. Varied snow, some sheet ice.

Day 19 (18th January 2022) : Vicdessos to Siguer. Highest point = Pic de Garbié de Brésoul (2047m). 14km, 1350m of positive height gain. Conditions = Very cold in the valley but sunny and even hot up on top. Varied snow depending on exposition - icy, powdery, wet etc.

Day 20 (19th January 2022) : Siguer to Les Cabannes. Highest point = Pla de Montcamp (1905m). 18km, 1250m of positive height gain. Conditions = icy paths, a bit of mist and then an amazing sea of clouds. Grey in the valleys.

Day 21 (20th January 2022) : Les Cabannes to Prat Moussu cabin. Highest point = Mont Fourcat (2001m). 15km, 1650m of positive height gain. Conditions = Cloudy in the morning, then strong winds and horizontal icy snow on the summits, with bad visibility.

Day 22 (21st January 2022) : Prat Moussu cabin to Montségur. Highest point = Prat Moussu cabin (1510m). 12km, 400m of positive height gain. Conditions = Intense cold, dusting of snow, cloudy with a bit of sun now and again.

Summary of 2022 : Saint Béat to Montségur - 13 days. Highest point = Pic de la Calabasse (2210m). 182km, 15200m of positive height gain. Conditions = 3 days of bad weather, 1 days of mixed weather, 9 days of good weather.TOTAL for 2021 and 2022 - 22 days, 335km, 25650m of positive height gain. Highest point = Pic de la Calabasse (2210m), 6 days of bad weather, 5 days of mixed weather, 11 days of good weather. In 2023 : Montségur to Banyuls then Cap de Creus and Cadaqués.

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