The Pyrenees form a natural divide between Spain and France. Nestled inside Spain lies Val d'Aran, a unique and beautiful region perfect for a week of adventure. The deep valleys carved by the Garona River provide a natural playground for trekking and mountaineering. This little‐known but beautiful part of the Spanish mountains provides a truly memorable experience.
We had the pleasure of taking a school expedition to this wonderful part of the world, where students and teachers alike experienced an all round epic adventure!
Arrival at Salardú. We were met by Miguel, our international guide who would be supporting us whilst climbing some of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees and definitely the highest mountains that these students had seen, or climbed before! Some reaching as high as 3000m.
The afternoon was immense, we descended the Bausen Ravine, an exhilarating and continuous flow of water that descends from the Sèrra de Vacanera (on the French border) to the Garona River.
We trekked to the Circ de Colomers, a huge glacial basin which is surrounded by peaks of up to 3000m and has 48 crystal blue lakes. This truly is the 'jewel in the crown' of the Aigüestortes National Park.
We first climbed to a beautiful lake at 2130m, where the Colomers mountain hut was built several years ago. The track passes through magnificent woods of Dwarf Mountain Pines, Maples, Beeches and Silver Firs.
From the mountain hut we continued our trek, visiting a staggering 18 lakes along the way!
This was a loop which led us to some of the wildest parts of the Aigüestortes National Park, crossing a pass in front of the Besiberri Peaks. The most incredible views I have ever seen!
A short drive took us to the beginning of the Valarties Valley, just below La Restanca Lake. We hiked to the Restanca Mountain Hut and our first lake at 2010m. The track led us to Mar Lake and on to the Serrada de Mar Pass until descending to the Tort de Rius and Rius Lakes. The day was filled with stunning scenery and wild alpine landscapes.
Our BIG day - Ascent to BesiBerri Sud (3024m.) We prepared our rucksacks to stay overnight in France at a gîte d’étape. We were riven to Artiga, the other side of the Vielha Tunnel. There, we started our continuous and steep ascent.
The views from the summit were breathtaking and very hard to describe in words.
"...an incredible experience for our students. Guides were knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Food and accommodation was perfect. This is definitely on the cards again for next year..." Mr Lea - Outdoor Education Manager - Carter School
Our last day, filled with adventurous activities and fun. 4 multi-adventure circuits, zip lines, hanging bridges, liana, spiders webs and a 250m long tree top walkway.
We then said our goodbyes to Miguel and the wonderful Pyrenees! Until next time.