For my first article, I will take you for a walk in the East-Central Pyrenees, back to a (short) time when I was just thinking about doing my own thing. At the time, I could only go walking on week-ends or holidays, as I was spending the week working in an office -but that was before I started this blog…

Looking at the Mont Garias (2006m) from the beginning of the walk, along the GR10.


Last summer, on a glorious Sunday, I decided to go and explore a part of the Pyrenees called Haute-Ariège. Apart from the Pic des Trois Seigneurs (2199m), I had not had the opportunity to climb any high summit in this area yet. The main local peaks -Pique d’Estats (3143m),  Mont Valier (2838m), Pic de Maubermé (2880m), etc…- are attractive for sure, but two days would be needed to reach them. I therefore opted for the Pique Rouge de Bassiès (2676m), which is much more accessible and thus doable on a single day; quite a challenge due to the substantial ascent though. There are several possible starting points. I made my mind for the car park at la Coumebière (ca. 1400m), along the D8f, the road which winds up its way from the village of Aulus-les-Bains to the Col d’Agnès.

The yellow marks can be followed all the way up to the Col de las Fouzès.

Living only about 1h30 driving distance from the first slopes of the Central Pyrenees certainly is an advantage, as I can easily have a day trip to enjoy some summiteering there. But when it comes to reach some further parts of the range, this is another story. After a late start due to a late awakening, I found myself stuck in a traffic jam in the town of St-Girons. Sure I might have fancied staying for the local music festival, but I had something else in mind that day. After a half-an-hour detour which added to the already long drive, here I am at the start of my walk. It is already 11.45am, but there is still plenty of time left and the weather is fantastic.

The tiny Etang de Labant is an ideal spot for a family picnic.

I have to park alongside the road as the car park at la Coumebière is packed. The walk starts along the famous GR10 marked trail, which I follow in a SE direction for a few hundred metres before taking a right turn. The well-tr