A few days ago I got a message from friends "hey we are going to Vignemale on Monday / Tuesday are you in ? " No more words needed, crampons and ice axes were already wriggling.
Starting from Cauterets - Pont d’Espagne, we headed in the valley to Refuge des Oulettes and he was still here, immense with his 1000m north face looking as us, breathetaking,:
After filling the water bottles, direction Col des Oulettes, on the left of “Petit Vignemale” pic:
Nice view from the col, towards col des Mulets and pic d’Aratille:
Arriving to refuge de Baysselance, 2650 m, the view is stunning, as we can see the whole Gavarnie chain (Mont-Perdu, Marboré, Brèche de Roland, Taillon …):
Sunset is even better, giving us a “cherry on the summmits”:
A few glasses of wine, a nice dinner and a restless night later, we are finally ready to start. It’s late but lets the fun beggin:
The glacier d’Ossoue is covered with a rather thin layer of snow, almost an early summer conditions:
After the long strech on the glacier, climbing the last part of the summit, Pique Longue, is rather intimidating as you have 200 m very steep on one side and 1000 m vertical on the other.
Waiting for friends on the final crest:
Summit, sky is a bit grey this afternoon but still beautiful:
Descent is a bit tricky, we take our time to not make a mistake:
Heading down on the glacier, or what’s left of it: mission completed.
The radio part of the trip was very minimal, as I only made 6 contacts on 40 m. We didn’t want to lose too much time, and friends were kind enough to take a bit of a cold while waiting for me to set up my “fishing rod and lines.” Thank you, chasers, again for your prompt responses!
73 - Rémy