Cirque des Lis (round the corner to the right!)

Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Cirque des Lis

  • Distance 13 km
  • Time 3 h 12 min
  • Speed 4 km/h
  • Min altitude 915 m
  • Peak 1553 m
  • Climb 1081 m
  • Descent 943 m
March 1, 2017
Last minute change of plans and decided a hike was in order for today. We fancied exploring one of the side valleys off the road to Gavarine and chose a hike to to Cirque des Lis which started from the hydropower station at Pragneres and follows the Rousseau (river) de Bat Barrada.

We chose to follow the farm track a fair way up the valley, you could take it all the way to Pont de Crabieu where there is a bridge crossing. As it was I chose a daft detour though the trees and undergrowth to drop down to the footpath – bit of a scramble and many snags on saplings etc. The upside was on joining the path we had lovely views of fresh snow on the trees along the river glinting in early morning sunshine.

Mike and Cirque des Lis in the background

From the bridge we took the trail to the (tiny) Cabane de Motte  (not the one in the photo which is unnamed and just after the bridge), agreed it would make an ideal spot for lunch and then carried on to the Cirque. Unfortunately there was a lot of evidence of avalanche debris which became very tricky to cross where the river valley narrowed shortly before the end of the trail. We became very uncomfortable on one such crossing where a slip on hardpack could have resulted in us falling into the rushing river below. Both agreed lunch was calling and it was time to call it a day.

Enjoyed our sarnies at the Cabane, admiring the views and enjoying the spring sunshine. Retraced our footsteps apart from deciding to take the road back which limited tramping through wet snow.

A delightful last hike this year in the Pyrenees. We return to Switzerland on Friday and plan on a relaxing day on the slopes tomorrow.