Highest point and lowest low

HRP Day 7: Oulettes de Gaube – Gavarnie (21.5km, 1,080m ascent via Hourquette d’Ossoue (2,738m), 1840m descent) The night at the Oulettes was super atmospheric, if a little wet. The fog danced around the Vignemale all night and into the morning, entertaining us every minute. The view wasn’t ever the same. It was very different…

Back to the place I love

HRP Day 6: Refuge Wallon Marcadeau – Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube (8.3km, 900m ascent via Col d’Arratille (2,528m) and Col des Mulets (2,591m)) Today was my first two pass day of the trip so far. I slept ok but kept sliding down in my tent due to choosing my camp spot poorly (Bruno where…

When all you need is a bit of self confidence

HRP Day 5: Refugio Resposumo – Refuge Wallon Marcadeau (7.5km, 700m ascent via Col de la Fache – 2,664m) Today was the big day I’d been dreading for a while. I was to beat the weather forecasted and make it up a pass that sounded unlike anything I’d never done before (which it was!). Once…

Scrambling my way into Spain

HRP Day 4: Refuge d’Arremoulit – Refugio Resposumo (4.5km, 300m ascent via Col d’Arremoulit – 2,448m) After spending the whole previous night pretty much discussing the upcoming weather and scary pass ahead (Col de la Fache), I decided to make today a shorter day and wait out the weather in Refugio Resposumo. I left Arremoulit…

Race against thunder

HRP Day 3: Refuge de Pombie – Refuge d’Arremoulit (12km, 1,200m ascent via Col d’Arious – 2,259m) I woke up by the Lac de Pombie at what I’ve now decided will be my customary time: 5am. I slept fairly well and every night I am making improvements with my tent set up and sorting out…

Finding my legs on the HRP

Day 2: Lac d’Ayous – Lac de Pombie (11km, 900m ascent via Col de can’t remember and Col de l’Iou – 2,194m) After yesterday’s struggle in the heat, I was set on starting as early as possible and avoiding most of the climb in the midday sun. I set off from Ayous at 7am (after…

Got my butt kicked HARD.

Day 1: Etsaut – Lac d’Ayous on the GR10 (12km, 1600m ascent, via Col d’Ayous – 2,180m) First day on trail today. I started in Etsaut (pronounced ETSOT) and made the Lac d’Ayous my destination. This would take me over the Col d’Ayous (a “col”, “hourquette” or “port” is a mountain pass) via the Chemin…

Defrosted at last

These past few months I’ve been feeling “frozen”. I don’t mean in a cold way. I mean that I’ve been trying to keep well in a drawer (I.e. my flat) while not really feeling “alive”. A month or so ago I decided to plan a trip to the Pyrenees. My return on trail! Booking flights,…

16th April 2020, my start date

I woke up in Edinburgh today. The sky is white, I can hear the seagulls. I’m in familiar surroundings. I should have woken up in San Diego. Technically I should still be sleeping because of the time difference and my alarm be set for 4am. Or maybe I wouldn’t have been able to get any…

Postponing a thru hike isn’t that easy!

Over the last few days, countless #classof2020 hikers have had to cancel their thru hike. Whether it is the AT, PCT, CDT or elsewhere in the world, the negative (potentially deadly) effects thru hiking would have on communities in the midst of the spread of the coronavirus have been widely documented. Only yesterday, a week…