A challenging day lies ahead of us today, as our trek takes us into serious mountain terrain. We climb and descend – much of it steep – through fields of boulders and around rocky crags. We’re likely to see wild horses and flocks of sheep guarded by patous, the famous Pyrenean Mountain dogs, in this area. As we near the snow-line, the scenery becomes more impressive; jagged peaks and towering cliffs, with patches of snow lying in isolated dips between the rocks. It’s spectacular, but not a hospitable landscape, especially in bad weather; it’s hard to imagine how those escaping France would have felt, making this journey in the dark and in fear of betrayal and capture. After our last steep climb, we descend over boulder-strewn slopes to our refuge. Night refuge (2245m).
Trek approx. 7-8 hours
NB: There is an alternative route, taking us over the Col de Craberous (2382m); this leads past the crash site of a British Halifax bomber which, 80km off its intended route on a training flight in July 1945, sadly crashed, killing all seven on board. Wreckage is left untouched out of respect, and a plaque commemorates the crew. Unfortunately weather conditions often make this approach unfeasible; with more demanding and exposed terrain, group ability is also a factor.