Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pyrenees Day 6: Sercue -> Refugio de Goriz

We weren't sure we were going to be able to complete this stage, so we planned an early start to the day. No such luck... we were underway at 8:30.
From Sercue we head steeply down into the Canon de Anisclo (~1000m) and then follow a path upriver through the canyon. It's initially a nice and shady walk through the forest with loud water below and glimpses of cliffs and water through the trees. This isn't mountain walking, it's gorge walking and it makes for a pleasant variation. After some climbing, we reach La Ripereta (1450m, 12:00) where we have a nice break on the rocks and do a bit of "laundry" in the river.

At 12:35 we head onwards upstream towards Fon Blanca. We do more climbing through forest and see some cool waterfalls (including one from the gorge side that started as a stream, turned into a shower, and basically dissipated into a fog by the time it made it down). Eventually we make it to a bridge across the river with fantastic views up and down the canyon. The sun is out now and things are really starting to get good in the view department.

We climb a while and do some mildly exposed bits (including a short stretch with a chain). After a while the valley widens and the gorge walk morphs into a mountain valley walk. The views remain "wow!".
We reach the bridge under Fon Blanca (1650m, 2:30) and have lunch with the views. There's a crazy phenomenon here (probably due to the limestone?) where waterfalls start from out of rocks or the ground.

After lunch we decide that we have the time and energy to make it to Goriz, so we set off at 3:30. We immediately start climbing over rough, poorly marked paths and rely on Andrea's route-finding. After a couple hundred meters up, we have a refreshing water break at the top of a waterfall in the Barranco de Capradiza. We continue to work our way up that valley and pass through several very steep scrambling bits. Along the way we see a goodly number of Edelweiss (very cool!). The views remain invigorating... this valley is excellent! We reach the end of the valley and have to do a bit of easy climbing to get out.
Continuing on, we reach the Col de Goriz and see clouds ahead that look like bad weather. Crap! We pick up the pace a bit to try and beat the weather (fat chance since it's between us and Goriz), but luckily it never materializes. Hooray!

After a bit, Goriz comes into view along with some crazy clouds streaming through the Breche de Roland (from France into Spain). The wind is now from the North, as it should be. We pick up a cool beverage, some wine, and some dinner makings from Goriz and have a nice dinner.

Overnight we have massive amounts of wind. No rain, but big big wind. The tent does great. Good tent!


Myfirst said...

Oh wow, sounds fantastic! Very nice narrative. We're going in June with our sons (10 and 7). It's possible to stay at Refugio de Goriz? I think my wife would die of fright if the weather turned sour up there.

drgergl said...

Yeah, you can stay in the refugio, but during the season you need to book rooms far, far in advance.