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Weekend Wonder

Aneto

  • Where?

    France

  • Altitude

    3,404m

  • Duration

    3 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P3

  • Technical

    T3

  • P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T3 - May involve harder scrambling or some trekking and climbing with ropes. If snow is encountered then glacier travel with ropes, ice axes and crampons will be necessary. Basic climbing skills is ideal, but will also be taught and certainly practiced during the expedition and  pre-summit phase.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQ's

Overview

What better way to unwind from the pressures of day-to-day life than spending a weekend of adventure in the Pyrenees? Enjoy an exhilarating half day of rock climbing before conquering the highest peak in the Pyrenees, Mount Aneto (3,404m). We’ll provide you with all the professional guidance you need and sort out all the organisation. All you need to bring to the table is good general fitness and an adventurous spirit.

Based out of the stunning mountain spa town Bagneres de Luchon, you’ll spend Friday evening settling in to your characterful guest house and dining out in a classic mountain restaurant. Saturday morning, a qualified instructor guides you in an exhilarating rock climb. In the afternoon you head for Maladetta National Park in Spain, where you’ll trek to the Renclusa mountain refuge, your home for the night. Sunday, it’s the big one. An early start for your ascent of Pico Aneto crossing vast boulder fields and traversing a glacier to reach the rocky northern flank of the mountain. From here, you climb to the low summit. To get to the true summit, you’ll cross ‘Mohamed’s Bridge’ where you’ll have time to take in the staggeringly beautiful views

This is an affordable, accessible epic weekend, packed from first to last. the perfect antidote to Monday morning blues.

Find out more
Weekend Wonder, Aneto Weekend Wonder, Aneto

Date & Prices

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight)

Start: 05 July 2019
End: 07 July 2019

Price without flights:  €380

Based on a team of 4

05 July 2019

07 July 2019

3 days

€380

N/A

Based on a team of 4

Included

  • Accommodation with breakfast at a characterful guest house (1 night based on 2 sharing)
  • A nights stay in picturesque mountain refuge
  • A half day session of rock climbing with a highly experienced guide and rock climbing gear including harness and climbing shoes
  • 1 and a half days guided walking with a highly experienced and qualified mountain leader
  • All technical equipment including ice axe, harness, crampons and snow shoes for ascent of Aneto
  • Lesson in crampon technique and basic glacier principles
  • Packed lunches for Saturday and Sunday on the mountain
  • Transport to and from mountain base
  • Dinner Saturday night at mountain refuge

Not Included

  • Return travel to Bagneres-de-Luchon
  • Friday evening meal in town
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Friday Evening

Meet with your host at Bagneres-de-Luchon train station and check in to characterful guest house. We’ll spend the evening relaxing and dining out in one of the many restaurants in this beautiful spa town.

(No meals included)

DAY 2 : Saturday

Enjoy an exhilarating half day of rock climbing with a qualified instructor in setting that is hard to beat (all equipment will be lent) and then head towards Maladetta National Park in Spain. Once at the park you will spend the next 3 hours trekking into the Renclusa refuge, your home for the night. Evening spent having dinner and initial briefing.

(BLD)

DAY 3 : Sunday

Today is a big day! An early breakfast and then we commence our ascent to Pico Aneto (3,404m).

We will slowly trek up to a feature known as the keyhole from where we see the summit for the first time. A short descent puts us into a vast boulder field and an hour later we reach the glacier where we begin the traverse until we reach the rocky northern flank of the mountain and begin the climb up to the low summit of Aneto. The true summit is only 10m higher which we reach via the famous ‘Mohamed’s Bridge’. Once we have soaked in the impressive views we begin our descent back down and begin heading home.

After spending 2 full days in the tranquil Pyrenees, you will be feeling rejuvenated and ready to face Monday morning’s excitement.

(BL)

These are subject to minor changes depending on 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

Approx. 40-60L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Dry stuffsacks

Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your rucksack. Good for quarantining old socks

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping bag liner

The refuge provides blankets but a liner is nice to sleep in

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

Buff/Scarf

Essential for protection from the sun and dust

Sunglasses

Category 4 wrap around style is 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. Worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) 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

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

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, they are not waterproof

Waterproof jacket (Outer layer)

A good Goretex Hardshell jacket provides effective defence against wind and rain as your outermost layer

T-shirts / Trekking tops

A couple of t-shirts or loose fitting (non-cotton) trekking tops / shirts to wear whilst walking

Quantity: 2

Gloves

Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes

Lower Body

Waterproof overtrousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex or breathable

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

Technical Equipment

Climbing harness (available to borrow from 360)

Try a variety on in a shop before you buy to ensure a good fit. Leg clips are a good option and avoids having to step into the harness to put it on.  If you have got a climbing harness already, then this is good as it’s always good to have your own.  If not 360 can lend you one.

Climbing helmet (available to borrow from 360)

A plastic helmet is more suitable rather than the expanded foam helmets available. Make sure you can wear it with a woolly/fleece hat underneath.  If you do not have a climbing helmet then 360 can lend you one.

Ice axe (available to borrow from 360)

A walking ice axe between 55cm and 65cm.  If you have got this already, then this is good as it always helps to practice with your own.  If not 360 will lend you an ice axe

Crampons (available to borrow from 360)

10/12 point crampons with anti-balling plates (not ice climbing crampons).  If you have got these already, then this is good as it always helps to practice with your own.  If not 360 will lend you crampons

Trekking poles with snow baskets

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

2L capacity either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottle or just Nalgene bottles

Water purification

Purification tablets are better than any other system.  Highly unlikely to be needed.  Always good to have in your bag

Toiletries

Wash kit

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

Travel towel

Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Wet wipes

Alcohol gel

Medications

Personal first aid kit

Blister patches, plasters, antiseptic, painkillers etc.

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack

Misceallaneous

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Penknife (optional)

Snacks

You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort.  For summit night it’s always good to have a few extra chunky bars for that extra boost. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable

Documentation

Travel insurance

Copy of 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 medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

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

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

EH1C (formerly E111)

While you do 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

FAQ's

Food and Water

Where do we get drinking water from?

All drinking water is from the refuge or can be bought at various stops for the first day’s walking.

What is the food like in the refuge?

The food in the refuges 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.

Accommodation

What are the guesthouse and refuge like?

Papilio guesthouse is a comfortable lodge that sleeps 10 to12 guests. Book accommodation to your own preference.The Refuge is dormitory style accommodation but each person will have their own bunk bed.

Can you get a hot shower there?

Yes, hot showers are available. There may be a small supplement for hot water.

Health and Safety

What happens if there is an issue on the trek with a client – a fall or an illness?

360 Expeditions have conducted detailed risk assessments and put the necessary plans in place to cope with any accidents or illness whilst out on the trek. Our expedition leaders are highly qualified and experienced mountain leaders who hold expedition first aid qualifications and are used to working in remote environments. Their training allows them to deal with situations quickly and safely.

Should someone find themselves requiring further medical attention,the leader will organise for that individual to be taken from the trail and transferred to the nearest hospital. The leader and the 360 office team will also be on hand to offer guidance and support for insurance claims and contacting next-of-kin.

Is there any risk of altitude sickness?

There is minimal risk of altitude sickness on this trek.

Kit

What boots do we need?

Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending these mountains it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support. In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A wide range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local outdoor store. The leather / Goretex combinations are endless and each with their merits.

Our best advice is to try them on – if you think they’re comfortable, and will be for several hours a day, buy them. It is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used for climbing this mountain. But you may enjoy wearing lighter trekking shoes on more genteel days.

Do we need crampons and ice-axes?

Necessary for the climb above 3000m. To reach the summit you have to climb the ever steepening Aneto Glacier. The ice/snow conditions vary according to the time of the year but crampons and ice-axes are mandatory for each ascent. For crampons non-technical strap-on types will do. If you are using crampons with the more modern heel clip make sure you have boots that are compatible. Recommended are the Grivel 10 point walking crampons. A general walking ice-axe is ideal.

What sleeping bag do I need?

The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. A thin summer sleeping bag or better a silk sleeping bag liner will do the trick just fine. The refuge provides clean blankets.

What bag should I bring?

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 is also advisable to pack your kit in plastic bags/bin liners or waterproof bags before placing them in your rucksack.

You should bring a rucksack with you of approximately 45 litres for personal gear, clothing that you need close to hand if the weather changes like additional layers and waterproofs, and sustenance. It’s importance to go as light as possible as weight makes a huge difference at altitude and steep ascents. You will be carrying your daysack so think twice before putting too many hipflasks in. This is a non-camping trip and all meals and bedding etc is supplied by the refuge.

What clothing and footwear do we need?

We advocate the beg, steal and borrow principle for first timers instead of buying brand new stuff you will never use again. The cost of equipment is usually a major deterrent for people coming onto trips in the first place. If you think you will reuse your gear, then it is worth starting to invest in good gear. The old adage often applies – you get what you pay for.Think about the time of year, and how high you are going. While you may swelter at the bottom of the mountains, it can get surprisingly nippy at altitude.

Both long sleeve tops and trekking trousers are recommended rather than shorts. Long sleeves and trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, scratches from bushes and to act as sun protection. Equally, if you wish to bring short sleeve tops or shorts, that is fine, just be careful. Keep an eye on sunburn.The prevailing conditions of the day on the mountain will dictate what you feel like wearing. And the layering system never fails. If you are cold, put a layer on, if you are hot, take one off.

The Weather

What is the weather like?

During the day temperatures can be warm and can even reach to the mid 20 C. In the evening higher up, it could drop to below freezing and have a chill in the air. For early spring or late autumn ascents there can be snow from the refuge and the temperatures on the summit well below freezing.

As you will be trekking in a mountain environment, the weather can rapidly change for the worse so you need to be prepared for all conditions. Even in good weather it is not uncommon to have short heavy downpours or heavy snowstorms.

Travel

What flights would you suggest?

For this expedition, you will need to book flights to Toulouse Blagnac Airport.  You can fly with any of the following airlines from several major airports in the UK: Easyjet, RyanAir and British Airways.

When booking your flights please ensure that your flight arrival times coincide with train times from Toulouse-Matabiau train station to Bagneres-de-Luchon train station. 360 will meet you at Bagneres-de-Luchon train station.  Alternatively, you can rent a car from one of the many car hire companies at Toulouse Airport.

Insurance

Do I need special travel insurance for the expedition?

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

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

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.

Will I need an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for this expedition?

As the trip is based in France it is also worth having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this “gives card holders the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays in other European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would be to a resident of that country and is provided either at reduced cost or, in many cases, for free. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until the card holder returns home. This includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.” If you don’t already have one, you can apply for one here and it is free.  Many travel insurers won’t cover your medical costs in the unlikely event that you need medical treatment whilst you are away which could have been covered by an EHIC.

Training

What training do we need to do?

Being trekking fit before coming to the mountain is of great importance not only to maximise your chances of reaching the summit but much more importantly to enhance your overall enjoyment of the expedition: if you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip.

Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on good long walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 10kg, and head for the hills.

This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get used to your equipment. This will pay dividends when you reach the mountains.

Electronics

Will I be able to get WIFI along the way?

The refuge doesn’t have WiFi due to its remoteness, but you will be able to get it at the guest house.

Is there mobile reception?

Mobiles tend to work fine once you get to 3,000m but not at the refuge.

Can I charge my camera / iPod in the mountains?

The refuge does have electricity so you will be able to plug things in to charge, but depending how busy the refuge is, you might find yourself competing for a socket with other guests.

I would recommend 360 to anyone, loved the whole Pyrenees experience from start to finish! Staying at Rolfe and Marni’s guest house Papilio was amazing – a beautiful French house, located in a perfect place

Pyrenees, August 2017
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