Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roc Del Boc

Pyrenees Mountain Adventure uses an eco - friendly trailside lodge as a base for its 7 night summer walking holiday. The lodge is in Planès, a small hamlet not far from Mont - Louis in the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Nature Park at the base of the Planès Valley.

The Roc del Boc (2774m) is one of several peaks that tower above the Planès Valley. It was hot work as the track climbed steeply up from Planès and I  was pleased with the overcast weather at the start of the day, and the cooler temperatures. The cloud cover remained low all day although the sun did periodically break through. The first time was as I came out of the forest onto the broad ridge which led to the first peak, Pic de l'Orri (2561m), which made me feel great.

The Pic de l'Orri
The snow cover that there was gave the mountain animals away - their tracks clearly visible.

Squirrel Tracks
As well as the tracks, there was other evidence of the mountain animals - their droppings! 

Capercaillie Droppings
I saw a  Capercaillie break cover noisily from a Mountain Pine. The Gaillic origins of the bird's name mean 'horse of the woods'.

Beyond the Pic de l'Orri the ridge narrowed, becoming a Crib Goch like 'knife edge' with steep drops to each side. It was exhilarating scrambling along towards the Roc del Boc hidden in the cloud further on.

The Roc del Boc hidden in cloud.
There were great views back along the ridge.

The view back towards the Pic de l'Orri
Far below me in the Planès valley and I could see the frozen Planès Valley pond. Across the Valley, the Cambre d'Ase in its winter coat.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.- Paul Dudley White

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