Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pena de Oreol - L more than a biscuit

East end of Pena de Oreol
No navigation skills required
Thunder in the high Pirineos

From the north
Pena de Oreol
Iberian prominence number 48, 1770m P892, Major N42.52030 W0.54232 
Being a mid day week and a hill that is away from the exciting high Pirineos I had visions of a lonely day on a not much visited hill. 

Pena de Oreol from carpark
To my surprise the large carpark at the Refugio Mirador de Oreol  N42.52775 W0.53172 (1180m) was full and there were families at all the picnic tables. And as I set off up the mountain side I met quite a lot of people coming down – I was late starting as I had been doing the supermarket run. 

Dappled sunlight
The sun was shining here – but certainly not in the thundercloud covered high Pirineos – however, for much of the ascent it was dappled because of the trees. 

Not quite Striding Edge
The path finally zigzagged its way to a collado at N42.51807 W0.52735 (1654m). From here there are three options: a path that literally follows the top of the ridge; an escape path that runs alongside and a wider path that traverses the side of the ridge lower down. I took the top one – they all meet up again later. The ridge and the steep northern and western faces seem to consist of rounded beach pebbles loosely set in sandstone.

The summit of Pena de Oreol is marked by a trigpoint and an ugly looking black metal cross. And I had it to myself, everyone else had gone down. The views were very good, if a bit hazy. I wandered over to the west end at 1751m before returning by the ascent route – except I used the traverse path back along the ridge. I didn’t bother visiting the Ermita – when you have seen one ermita, you’ve seen them all. The carpark was nearly empty.

Summit from east
9km 650m total ascent

Overnight in car park, Torla N42.62416 W0.11177 (1006m)
Sunset over Pena de Oreol
The world's favourite cookie - apparently

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