Explore 360

Climb, Trek, Bike/Canyon

Pyrenees Adventure

  • Where?

    France

  • Altitude

    2,444m

  • Duration

    4 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T2

  • P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

Looking for a weekend adventure? You won’t find better than the Pyrenees for a quick fix of extreme sports!

This rugged mountain range straddles the border between France and Spain for over 400km, and rising to 3,400m, offers world class settings for a range of activities to get the blood racing, from rock climbing and wild swimming, mountain biking and to alpine trekking from hut to hut. There’s even the chance to try your hand at paragliding!

The location for these activities is stunning. You’ll trek through and past quaint mountain villages, wild rivers and calm sparkling lakes, the scenery transitioning from dense forest to meadows and mountains blanketed with alpine flowers, with granite spires and smooth limestone canyons making you feel truly immersed in the wilderness.

This adventure-packed weekend is designed to suit you – so if you’d prefer just trekking, more activities, or a longer or shorter trip – get in touch! All of the activities are suitable for those of all abilities.If you’re looking for a longer trip to pack in the activities, check out our 4-day trekking adventure or for a longer trip, the 1000 Lakes combines stunning scenery with a more remote trek – chat to us for more options…

Find out more
Climb, Trek, Bike/Canyon, Pyrenees Adventure Climb, Trek, Bike/Canyon, Pyrenees Adventure

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.

A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 02 October 2020
End: 04 October 2020

Price without flights:  £480

02 October 2020

04 October 2020

3 days

£480

N/A

Included

  • 360 leader
  • Airport transfers to and from Toulouse
  • Transfers to and from mountain base
  • Guides
  • Climbing equipment and bike hire
  • Accommodation in Luchon based guest house or mountain refuge accommodation during trek days
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • International flights to Toulouse (please note that due to the fluctuation of flight prices with the current Covid-19 situation, there may be a surcharge on flights)
  • Personal equipment
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol, laundry and other items of a personal nature
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Arrival & Rock Climbing

We’ll meet you at Toulouse airport and transfer to our guest house in the mountain town of Luchon, the queen of the Pyrenees. After time to settle in, we jump into action at the spectacular cliffs surrounding the town and spend the afternoon rock-climbing. All the routes are sport climbing and your instructor will set up a top-rope system where falling off has no consequence but pushing your limits is mandatory. This is a great day for all climbers of all levels.

(D)

DAY 2 : Trekking & Wild Swimming

Today, we explore the heart of the Pyrenees by trekking up a huge ancient glacial valley to arrive at two sapphire coloured lakes.  Here we can take a refreshing wild swim, before crossing the Venasque Pass into Spain. The views from the pass are incredible as the highest summits and glaciers of this jaw-dropping mountain range spread out majestically before us. We drop down into Spain and traverse over to the Escalade Pass to Hospice de France into Spain, and back into France.

Total trek time: 7-8 hrs.

(BLD)

 

DAY 3 : Canyoning or Mountain Biking

We have a choice today – either canyoning or mountain biking. (Check out our 4-day adventure for a trip to include both!)

For those canyoning, after a hearty breakfast we’ll head to the nearby Valley D’Oô. This scenic valley with its backdrop of jagged snowy peaks harbours canyons deep within it, and we’ll picnic lunch overlooking Lac D’Oô with spectacular views all round. We’ll then walk along the valley floor of which is the Canyon D’Oô. Prepare for the most incredible afternoon as, along with guided instruction, we jump off cliffs, abseil into slots and swing over deep pools on zip lines. The water is cold but the activity exhilarating!

Those mountain biking will see us take a ride up the town’s gondola to the scenic viewpoint of Superbagneres, nearly 2,000 metres above sea level. We’re here to soak up the endless vista of summit after summit stretching out to the east and the west – but not for too long! We’ll head off for a wild adventure down the impressively laid out mountain bike trails descending back to Luchon. Tackling steep sections, unexpected switchbacks and wild freerides, we soon discover why this sport is fast becoming the number one thrill for adventure junkies.

For many, today is the unexpected highlight of this weekend. Both activities are great for all levels and you’ll have a guide with you throughout. After, no doubt breathless but hugely elated, we’ll arrive back into town, grab a shower and transfer back to the airport.  It might take a while for your heart to stop racing, but this mini adventure break will be long remembered!

(BL)

This itinerary is subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Daysack

Bring a 40-60L rucksack that is well worn in and with a good waist belt. A waterproof cover is advisable (remember that these covers are not 100% waterproof but act as a barrier). Whilst on the mountain you will need to carry all of the kit that you are not wearing.

Dry stuffsacks

Rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items lime your passports and electronics dry in the event of a total downpour that could seep into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks! Please note that France has banned plastic bags. In any case, we would always advise buying reusable and sustainable nylon rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry.

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Sleeping Gear

2 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag rated to 5°C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights.

Sleeping bag liner

A liner will help keep your sleeping bag clean and provide extra warmth. Silk is best for keeping you a little warmer.

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head.

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Sunglasses

Category 4, wrap around style sunglasses are highly recommended. These sunglasses allow for the highest available protection against harmful UV light found at altitude and from glare from snow and sand surfaces. It’s worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier.

Lip salve

Sun cream does not work on your lips, and they will be susceptible to sun burn without proper protection.

Sunblock

We’d recommend you buy the highest SPF you can find, as UV intensifies with altitude.

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to wick, or draw, moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion.

Quantity: 2

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack

T-shirts

A couple of T-shirts are advisable for this summer expedition.  The days are reasonably warm, with high temperatures at lower altitudes.

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and, as such, are not recommended.

Soft Shell

These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, do note they are usually not waterproof.

Gloves

Lower Body

Shorts

A couple of pairs of shorts are advisable for this summer expedition. The days can be reasonably warm, with high temperatures at lower altitudes.

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts.

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you!

Waterproof trousers

A lightweight pair of Goretex trousers will act as a great windproof too.

Feet

Walking boots

Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support

Spare laces

Just in case

Comfortable trainers/Crocs

For use in the evenings. With most refuges, you will need to take your boots off when you go in. Some provide croc/slippers but not all.

Trekking socks

Whether you wear a single layer, or 2 pairs, is a personal choice. Lighter weight merino wool is a good option.

Quantity: 3

Evening clothes

Comfortable clothes for the evening

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

You’ll need enough to carry 2 litres, either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottles, or just Nalgene bottles.

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled, some trekkers prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag.

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene.

Toilet paper

Provided at the accommodation, and at public toilet facilities, but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock during the day.

Expedition towel

Towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Medications

Personal first aid kit

The 360 medical kits are designed to be used in emergencies and are akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy, so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.

Personal medication

Make sure you keep this handy in your daysack if necessary.

Miscellaneous

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards. A power pack is handy for keeping things charged in the case of no charging points in the refuges (we recommend PowerTraveller).

Head torch

Bring spare batteries or a spare head torch

Snacks

Although you will be fed well, we do we advise bringing a small selection of energy bars or your favourite snacks. Have a couple per day.

Ear plugs

Optional, of course, but for protection against the inevitable snorers!

Penknife (optional)

Swimsuit

For the wild swimming, and for any other opportunities throughout the trip if you wish!

Trekking poles

Optional, but they can be useful on the trekking day. These tend to be a personal preference, but can help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity: ie. your passport expiry date needs to be at least six months after the final day of travel. Make sure you also have at least two blank pages.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Travel insurance

Bring a copy of your own travel insurance details and relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, to include at a minimum medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude and for the relevant activities included on this trip.

EH1C (formerly E111)

While you must have travel insurance, this can save you paperwork and reduce upfront costs should you have a minor ailment or need to see a local GP if you already have one. Do be aware the details on of the EH1C will be changing due to the UK leaving the EU, so check for the current availability.

FAQs

Food and Water

Where do we get drinking water from?

Bottled or filtered drinking water will be provided during the trip. We’d advise bringing your own bottle, to reduce plastic waste where possible. During the trekking day we also pass streams in various places that you can top up from if you should run out, so take purification tablets with you, should you wish to fill up.

What is the food like during the trip?

The food is plentiful and of very good quality, often using locally sourced ingredients. Breakfasts consist of pastries, fresh bread and jams and you can expect hearty meals in the evenings. Packed lunches will be simple, but filling.

Do you provide snacks during this expedition?

360 provides some snacks for your days on the mountain, however do bring some of your favourite snacks from home, a range of fast and slow release energy snacks. The pure ‘energy’ style bars which are solid are quite tough to eat on the mountain so go with simple things. Flapjacks, shortbread, sweets, nuts and chocolate are great, snacks that you’re going to really look forward to eating and which will give you energy.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

You’ll be staying in simple but comfortable accommodation in hostels or local hotels. Food will be good with ample carbohydrate content – think pasta, rice, potatoes etc, but don’t expect a la carte!

Kit

What bag do I need?

A rucksack of around 40-60L should do you just fine – it’s better to have a bigger bag with space, than a smaller one with everything crammed in!
Your day sack should contain only the essential items you will need for the day and activities and your aim should be to keep it as light as possible. We’d recommend you carry at least: a warm layer, waterproof jacket, your packed lunch and snacks, spending money, water, camera, sun cream and personal medication.
If you are borrowing or buying a rucksack, ask someone to help you adjust it to fit your back. And ensure you are making these adjustments with weight inside it, not empty. Generally, it should sit reasonably high on your back so that the weight is acting vertically downwards, not forcing your shoulders back or drooping past your backside. Again, it’s about how you feel comfortable wearing it and important to get right.
Make sure too that it is either waterproof or you have a waterproof cover for your rucksack. It’s not a bad idea to pack your gear into waterproof stuffs sacs, in case of a deluge.

Do we need any technical gear for this?

No, the hiking part of this adventure is a trek, so standard walking gear outlined in the kit list should suffice. For the adventure activities, all equipment necessary will be provided.

Do I need a sleeping bag?

No, you’ll be in accommodation throughout and bedding is provided – though you may wish to bring a sleeping bag liner if you get cold.

The Activities

How fit do I need to be?

This is a fun few days of adventure! Of course, the fitter you are before coming out you’ll enjoy it far more than if you are struggling, but the days aren’t long, and the weekend is designed for all levels of experience.

Can we swim in the lakes?

That’s the idea! They’ll be cold, but wild swimming is exhilarating. It’s optional, of course (chat to us for weekend adventures that just include trekking, if you’d rather), but it’s great fun!

Are your instructors qualified?

Yes, all our instructors have the appropriate qualifications. Your climbing guide also has the Rock Climbing Instructor Award.

The Weather

What’s the weather like up there?

It’s likely to be lovely and sunny, and reasonably warm (pretty hot lower down). However, we’re in the mountains, and not very far from the Atlantic, so there is every risk of rain, thunderstorms, and wind. Night time temperatures can be chilly.
The climate of the Pyrenees is generally better than the UK, but there is still the risk of inclement weather, so we advise in the kit list to pack accordingly. And, just like any other holiday, having a quick last minute look at the forecast before you come out can be a useful pointer of what’s in store.

Travel

Flights aren’t included what time should I arrive and depart to Toulouse?

We haven’t included flights as this gives you options from the UK. There are many flights that arrive in Toulouse daily from many different airports – chat to the 360 office team for more information.

We will be at the airport at 11.30 am on day one of the itinerary. On the day you leave, we will be dropping the team off at Toulouse airport for 2.30 pm.  (These times are approximate and are TBC.). Please, therefore, find flights that work for these timings.

If there are any issues with this please do let us know and we will also try and help, however it might mean in getting a hire car/train or taxi to your start/finish point.

Bagneres de Luchon is 1h 40 mins drive from Toulouse Airport.

Insurance

Do I need special insurance for this trip?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition, we cannot take you on the expedition without proof of insurance.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however, this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and recommend them as an option when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. Many other insurance providers are of course available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, to include, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip and for the adventure activities included.

Electronics

Will my mobile work?

In the cities, yes, out in the countryside, likely on and off! Most UK providers will provide coverage as part of your plan in France and Spain, but do check before you travel.

Will there be somewhere to charge my phone and camera?

There will be plug sockets in the rooms in your hotel, but we often advise bringing a powerpack (we recommend PowerTraveller) to ensure your phones / cameras / other electronics are charged throughout!

There is not enough positive feedback I could give 360 for the trip! Everything seemed to be perfect! The local crew, the support we had from you and Rolfe, the hotels were top notch.

Aaron Moffat
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