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Peaks in France

I am going to be in France and have a week or two in the August/September time frame where I will be able to sneak in some SOTA. I would love to be able to do a 3-5 day backpacking jaunt where i can maybe get 3-5 SOTA peaks as well. I’ve been looking at some of hte longer hikes where maybe I can do a section of it like maybe the GR10 trek, or even some sections of the Haute Route. Although I’m experienced enough of a mountaineer maybe someone wants to go up Blanc?? (ambitious I am)

I would love for some recommendations from anyone with experience in the area :D.

Thanks in advance, 73

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It may be too far from where you will be starting from in France but there a great many unactivated 10 point summits in the Pyrenees. Decades ago I had a week’s backpacking starting from Garvanie (south of Lourdes), crossing over into Spain and looping round in a circle.

The good news is where I would be coming from is totally up in the air. The wife wants to do a week in the Louvre and for some reason does not want me around (I like the Louvre). So maybe we are in Paris a day or two before we part ways, or maybe we just split up when we leave and I go straight to a trail head :D. Because we’ll be at the front end of a year long travel everything is pretty much just up in the air so any recommendation is valid. Although maybe ending somewhere near a train circuit (we’re not going to have a car, we’re going to try and train everywhere for the duration) should be part of the planning! Thanks!

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When I walked the Camino in 2019, I took a train from Montparnasse Station in Paris to Bayonne which is almost at the border with Spain on the Atlantic coast. From Bayonne I would think there are many summits within reach but whether they are long or difficult walks I do not know. Anything unactivated so far, given the enthusiasm and capability of the French and Spanish activators, is unactivated for a reason. (it’s a long walk, a tough walk or a long tough walk).

After crossing into Spain I passed several sota summits and indeed two very kind EA2 guys escorted me up one of them, a 6 pointer not very far from Roncesvalles. Several days later at Pamplona I activated two nearby summits, one with EA2IF (SK-RIP) and one with Ignacio EA2BD.

If you want French summits though, you may need to get local advice. Always the best way to get reliable info.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA

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