Day 13: 24 August: Campsite half the way up to Col d’Arrious to Refugio de Respomuso

Didn’t sleep that well, the big stone above my tent, shined through the fabric. The night was warm, the stone probably kept some heat from the day. Sandro and I where the last who left the camp. On our way upward we meet some sheeps with three dogs that guarding them, you have to be careful when there are dogs but they are just doing their job to protect the sheeps. We made a small detour around the herd.

Sandor followed by the three dogs guarding the herd of sheeps

The climb up to Col d’Arrious was ok, still bit tired in my lower legs.

Here I had to decide if I wanted to do the Passage d’Orteig, as it was something you should avoid if you suffer from vertigo. The alternative would only take 20 min more but then I had to climb down and up again. Sandro convinced me to make the difficult part of todays trail.

We met up with the others at the lake before Passage d’Orteig. It was scary but Philippe gave me great support and learned me to find the right technique to climb and hold the rope. It was not difficult and I didn’t suffer too much of my fear of heights. Without my backpack I think it wouldn’t have been so scary. Afterward I was happy and proud that I made it.

Looking down from the Passage d’Orteig at Lac d’Artouste

We took a long rest at the refuge d’Arrémoulit, beautifully placed at the Arrémoulit lake. The guys took a swim and we had some well tasty lunch, similar to pasta bolognese but with chunks of meat instead. I regret I didn’t take a swim as the day was damn hot and the lake not freezing cold.

The lake at the refuge

I took farewell of my cohikers as I had decided to take the alternative route as it would save me some time to reach Gavarnie, hopefully a half day later than Anika and Eli. The idea was to make next stage of HRP together.

Group photo before splitting up: Simone, Eva, Sandor and Phillipe. I will miss them.

It was a beautiful and I enjoyed the hike to Refugio de Respomuso, I past a couple of lakes. It was sometimes hard to find the trail but I navigated with the map and it was doable.

Following man-made paths

When I arrived at Refugio de Respomuso it started raining, quite heavely, and I had heard there might be a storm later as well. The refuge was full but they put me on a waiting list. I was in doubt, I really wanted to continue another hour or so, at least to find a campsite. I met a French guy, Jerome, we already met briefly at the refuge d’Arrémoulit. He was camping nearby and was going to eat at the refuge. Around half past seven I got a bed, I took a quick shower and got some food.

The view from the Refugio de Respomuso was magnificant

Tried to call home but the phone didn’t work and I had no connection since a 24h.

The refuge was crowded. I slept in a room with a lot of people. There was very hot and no air, so it was hard to sleep. It was just awful, I regret my decision to stay in the refuge, it would have been much better in my own tent. Lesson to learn.