Return to the Pyrenees

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Our walk on the Thursday to the Port de Barroude ( 2534m ) reaching the border with Spain - a long and high walk into pristine mountain scenery.

What did you think of your group leader?

Our French leader, Pierre, was excellent. His English was not perfect but there was no problem understanding him. He clearly has a deep love of his Pyrennean homeland and he imparted this to the group. Very knowledgable, conscientious and thorough in ensuring our safety .He was frustrated that our itinerary did not give him the opportunity to get us to more remote and higher mountain scenery.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

I went with Exodus to the former base in Aix les Thermes which is much further to the east. It is my view that the walks from there were better ( meeting the challenging description ) but this was only possible because we were often transported to a higher starting point for the walks. In St -Lary, 3 of our 5 walks started from the hotel ( valley level ) so much of the time we were walking through meadows/ farmland.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Overall, I had a good holiday which was helped by being with a great group of people and excellent leader ; however, compared to Aix les Thermes ( where we had more included meals ) it was significantly more expensive. Everyone will make up their own minds about the definition of challenging but for me this was not met on the week I was there. There is no doubt in my mind that St - Lary is an excellent location for mountain walking but the potential for truly challenging mountain walking can only be realised if transport is provide on all 5 walking days to higher starting points.