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Pyrenees - Snowshoe Challenge

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrive Toulouse

Your AC leader and UK medic will meet you at Toulouse airport, and we will transfer south to the vibrant mountain town of Luchon, the perfect base to master the art of snowshoeing.

Once settled in to your local guesthouse, we go through kit lists and there’s the chance to hire anything you might need. After, you may wish to explore the town and rest before the welcome meal, but for anyone keen to get out and stretch their legs, we head out on a local walk, before making our way back for a 3 course meal and briefing from the leader before a good night’s rest.


Accommodation: 3* Luchon guesthouse or hotel (D)

DAY 2

Snowshoe to Colomers

We begin today by driving to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. (Luchon is only 7km from the border.) From the top of the pass we descend into the Val d’Aran, and then get snow-shoes and rucksacks on ready for the adventure. We climb up through the Aiguamox valley, stop for a tea break at the Banhs De Tredos, before heading up the valley again to the Refuge de Colomers (2,135m), in an awesome location next to a large lake (frozen at this time of the year) with which the refuge shares its name. We’ll have a briefing on hut protocols and the plan for the next couple of days, then time to enjoy the evening out in the mountains!


(Transfer time ~1 hour 20 minutes, snowshoeing time 5-6 hours)


Accommodation: Refuge de Colomers (BLD)

DAY 3

Snowshoe to Col de Colomers

Today we continue our exploration of this striking landscape, climbing up towards the Col de Colomers (2,605m). The views are spectacular, with jagged peaks in every direction and sparkling lakes below. The way up to the Col is a remote pass, and the only way to cross into the stunning glacial cirque below. It’s a tough ascent, but the panoramic views are our reward, not just of the path we’ve just climbed, but the incredible Cirque de Colomers. We make our way back to the refuge for a welcome dinner and an evening under the stars.


(Snowshoeing time 6-7 hours)


Accommodation: Refuge de Colomers (BLD)

DAY 4

Head back to Luchon

Today is our final day out on the snowshoes and after bidding adieu to the refuge, we take a circular route around the Estany de Ràtera. Our route twists and turns through forests and alongside lakes, with open sections allowing us to admire the views and appreciate the distances covered. Now that we are seasoned snowshoe-ers, it doesn't take long to descend back towards the refuge and, after another well-deserved hot brew and a snack, we head further down into the forest and pick a trackfree route down into the valley, where we’re met by our vehicle to transfer back to France, and Bagneres de Luchon, for a celebratory group meal.


(Snowshoeing time 5-6 hours)


Accommodation: 3* Luchon guesthouse or hotel (BL)

DAY 5

Depart Toulouse

With a free morning in the wonderful Bagneres de Luchon, you have a few options, whether you’d rather try your hand at rock climbing, spend a relaxing morning at the local spa, or enjoy a lazy breakfast and a long lie in, before a stroll through town and take a visit to the local hot caves system, a natural hammam. Time to grab lunch and any last souvenirs, we will then transfer to Toulouse Airport our departure flights, and head home after a fun and revitalising week in the Pyrenees!


Transfer to Toulouse Airport. Departure timings TBC – usually depart Luchon at 13:00 (B)

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The air holiday packages and flights shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK. Our ATOL number is 6296. In Ireland the air & holiday packages and flights that are shown are protected by CAR license number TA0297. Please see our booking conditions for more information.