Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Flirting with Spain

Well, we have beeen here for a year now and would you believe that I have not yet set foot in Spain, despite it being 'just over there'?! That changed today. Lee fancied a scramble along a possible unclimbed ridge line up to the Point de Rabasserre which just happens to be bang on the border. Excellent! And what's more, the high point is 2568m - higher than I have been before. Purfik!

We set off early as hot weather was forecast again. The first glimpse of the ridge line was exciting but daunting at the same time. I have never done a scramble out here before, I am not particularly good with 'exposure' and this was an unknown/ungraded route. Still, we were prepared. The first section was a clamber through bilberry bushes and spikey grass but a little over an hour after leaving the car we reached the start of the scramble proper, roped up and got on our way. The first half of the route, moving together, we found our way through the jumble of rocks with Lee leading on ahead....... placing protection at thankfully regular intervals which gave me the reassurance I needed. We were in a spectacular setting... and the weather was perfect with a nice breeze blowing from the West. We made good time and soon reached the end of the section which required us to be roped up and could see the high point of Rabaserre ahead of usBeyond lay Spain! After 4 1/2 hrs we reached the peak and the Spanish vista lay before usLooking back down the way we had come, we could see the small tarn from where we had started the ascent along with great views back down to the Ustou Valley beyond. We pressed on down scrappy terrain and then up to Pic de Turguilla at 2527m which afforded us a fantastic view back along the ridge that we had just coveredFrom Pic de Turguilla, we started the descent down towards the Etang de Reglisse and the Cabane de Turguilla where we found a welcome supply of cold fresh mountain water. Time for a butty stop.From there, we made good time back to the car. I was tired and hot. We had been out for 7 1/2 hrs and the route had included over 1000m of ascent. But it had been a grand day out!

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