HRP Stage 1 – Lescun to Gavarnie


006 Day 2 - Pombie Refuge

During this stage of the HRP we see some of the highlights of the French Hautes Pyrenees National Park. These include:

  • The Chemin de la Mature – a pathway hewn into the cliffs
  • Passing the Pic du Midi d’Ossau, the Balaitous and the Vignemale with its dramatic North face glaciers, three of the most iconic peaks of the Pyrenees
  • Stunning views into the Cirque de Gavarnie on the final day.

Timings are taken from published guidebooks. In some cases we have increased them, following several years’ experience of walking the HRP with a group. The actual day length however may be longer, depending on numbers, and the abilities and fitness of group members.

What the price includes

The price shown for this week of HRP trekking includes:

  • Seven nights accommodation in manned, catered refuges and backpacker style hostels.
  • Continental breakfast, picnic lunches and copius dinners
  • 6 days guided trekking with a qualified international mountain leader and thier accommodation and food.
  • Local transfers during the trek where required
  • Left luggage facility (please note bags will leave you the night before the trek starts), and transfer of these bags to the end point

You will need to make your own travel arrangements at the start and end of the trek but we are happy to suggest travel options.

Important note

The HRP is a high mountain, challenging and remote trek. In the unlikely event that you are forced to abandon the walk the guide is committed to remaining with the group to ensure their ongoing safety on the trek. The guide will make every effort to accompany you to a major trail,refuge, or intersection with a public highway. From this point onward the guide and companies responsibility for you is disengaged. Mountainbug does not cover the cost of your return transport or alternative accommodation after you have left the group. Please ensure that you have undertaken sufficient training and preparation for this trip, and that you have adequate travel insurance.

Please choose your HRP dates on our calendar, then contact us to book or ask for further information.

View HRP Week one  interactive larger map

This is the week’s itinerary for Stage 1 of the HRP.

001 Start at Etsaut

Saturday – Arrive at Etsaut

We meet in the traditional mountain village of Etsaut, nestling deep in the imposing Vallee d’Aspe. After meeting your guide and the rest of the group, we enjoy a comfortable night in civilization, getting ready for the week’s trekking.

Pyrenees HRP trekking - Chemin de la Mature

Sunday – Etsaut to the Refuge d’Ayous, 5 hours

Today we begin on the GR10, starting with the impressive “Chemin de la Mature” – an airy pathway hewn into the cliffside in the 17th century.

Soon we find ourselves at the Col d’Ayous with an awe-inspiring view over the Pic du Midi d’Ossau, and our refuge sitting beside its own lakes.

005 Day 2 - Paddling

Monday – Refuge d’Ayous to the Refuge Pombie, 5 hours

This short day has its challenges, as we steeply ascend the flanks of the Pic du Midi Ossau, through a rugged landscape of craggy peaks and fallen blocks of volcanic rock.

008 Day 3 - View of Arremoulit

Tuesday – Refuge Pombie to the Refuge Arremoulit, 5 hours

We spend the first part of the day in the valley bottom, in pretty pastureland, with the opportunity to buy fresh Pyrenean sheep’s cheese along the way.

After lunch we traverse above the Lac d’Artouste on the airy Passage d’Orteig and across a dramatic granitic landscape to the Arremoulit.

We then spend a night in the shadow of the towering Balaitous.

Pyrenees Walking Holiday 2

Wednesday – Refuge Arremoulit to the Refuge Wallon, 8 hours

This is a long, tough day, taking the HRP variante Sud through Spain to pass the enormous Respumoso reservoir and the stunning Col de la Fache at 2664m.

At this altitude, there will be patches of snow to cross and an almost martian-landscape of broken red rock

Looking onto the Vignemale

Thursday – Refuge Wallon to the Refuge Bayssellance, 8 hours

An easy scramble this morning takes us to the Col d’Aratille with views south into Spain again.

Once we reach the Col des Mulets, we’re rewarded with stunning views of mighty Vignemale and the North Face glacier.

In the afternoon, after hot chocolate at the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, we ascend again to the Hourquette d’Ossoue (optional ascent of the Petit Vignemale, 3032m) to reach the Refuge Baysellance.

016 Day 6 - Walking down to the barrage d'Ossoue

Friday – Refuge Baysellance to Gavarnie, 6 hours

It’s worth getting up early today to see the sun rising behind the pink-tinged walls of the Cirque de Gavarnie.

We descend beneath the East-face of the Vignemale – one of the largest remaining glaciers in the Pyrenees, to reach the barrage d’Ossoue. From here we have a relaxing walk down through marmot-riddled meadows to Gavarnie.

We then take a mini-bus transfer to Luz St-Sauveur, a lively village, for a well deserved night’s rest in a local hotel.

Saturday – Day off

If you are staying with us for Stage 2, today you can enjoy the pretty town of Luz St. Sauveur. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or pamper yourself at the thermal spa. Luz has several sports shops and a supermarket if you need to replenish your supplies.

People who are joining us for Stage 2 will meet us in the evening, and we’ll all enjoy a good night’s rest in a comfortable hotel, ready for the next week’s trekking.

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Trekking – Dates & Prices

Please see below for the dates of our Trekking holidays.

Our calendar is flexible at the moment, so contact us if you’re interested in a trekking week that isn’t timetabled at a date that suits you.

Please click on each type of trekking holiday for a full description and photos.

I am currently available for the summer season from mid April 2024 through until the end of October. High level routes that traverse passes over 2500m altitude are generally open from mid June (depending on the severity of the winter), and lower level routes from April.

For you personal mountain guide for trekking and hiking please contact us

Some trips require a minimum number to be confirmed, please refer to our terms and conditions for details.


Choose your trekking holiday dates, then contact us to book.
HRP GR10 & GR11 Bespoke Treks Kit List


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