Foothills to Summits

All seasons in a week – spring flowers and long days…

Foothills Summits header

This wonderful early summer trek combines walks in many of our favourite places in the lower and lesser known valleys around Argelès and in the Val d’Azun, with the spectacular Vignemale summit, which at 3298m is the highest in the French Pyrenees. We take you from the Pyrenean foothills to one of the most iconic summits. In June spring is well under way in the lower valleys, whereas up high winter retains its hold. Moving between altitudes and seasons makes this trek particularly spectacular and interesting, and the itinerary packs the highlights into one fabulous week.

Where: Argeles, Val d’Azun, Cauterets and Gavarnie valleys
When: June.
: Day walks from your base camp for three days before heading high to the Baysellance Refuge for your assault on the Vignemale.  Final descent into Gavarnie and return to Luz.
Why: To have the best of all seasons and the highlights of the Lavedan Valleys!  Flowers, forests, pastures, waterfalls, a glacier and marvellous long days.
Price: 975€ pp twin share, min 4P. This includes 7 nights half board accommodation with picnics, all guiding (including a high mountain guide, along with your guide for the week, for the ascent of the Vignemale), crampons and ice axe for the glacier.  Single supplement, 25€ per night.
How: Book through Sian.

Foothills Summits GaubeFrom your base in Luz we collect you every day for our walks around the Argeles, Azun, Barèges or Gavarnie Valleys: there are plenty of possibilities at this time of year and the best choices for each day depend on the weather and the snow conditions. But our aim is to explore some of the lesser know foothill areas where the old donkey paths are wonderful. The views over the higher peaks from these foothill walks are spectacular, and the forest and pasture landscapes are especially beautiful in spring. Don’t be fooled – the foothills can be just as challenging as the higher mountains, they are just snow free in June and make for four days of wonderful walking.

Vignemale on topDay five sees us en route for the Bayssellance Refuge from the Pont d’Espagne via the beautiful Lac de Gaube. After a night here a high mountain guide will meet us in the early hours of the morning to guide us on the glacier and up to the summit at 3298m! Panoramic views await us!

We descend via the famous caves constructed by renowned Pyreneeist the Irish-French count Henry Russell and drop down to Gavarnie (UNESCO World Heritage Site) for a glimpse of this most impressive of glacial cirques and its waterfall.  We are picked up from here and return to Hotel Les Templiers for a hot shower, dinner out and a comfortable bed.