Tony Milne con 10 Manuels and a Manolete: A carpark-to-peak guide to the high Pyrenees (English Edition)
Thousands of British ramblers walk up Snowdon (1085m), Scafell Pike (960m) or Ben Nevis (1344m) each year. But on holiday, driving around, across or in the Pyrenees, they will look at Aneto (3404m), Posets (3377m) or Perdido (3355m) and say “No”.
Yet all the major Pyrenean peaks are within the range of difficulty and vertical climb of the great British peaks. Climbs of 1200m a day, sometimes with a night at altitude in a refuge, are no harder than those experienced by climbers in Glencoe. The French have known this for years and there is a wealth of information for French-based climbers and walkers. As such, it focuses on the French side of the mountains, and assumes a great familiarity with the geography of the region.
But for the many British tourists who live, holiday or visit in the south of France, the Spanish Pyrenees are within range and should be an object for rewarding expeditions. An evening drive across the border; a night in a hotel, refuge or campsite, or even a carpark; a climb - all this is possible, for those who know.
The Pyrenean peaks over 3000m are higher than all the mountains in the British Isles; they are also higher than all those in such mountainous countries as Norway, Sweden, all the Yugoslav republics, the Balkans, Greece, Romania, Poland, Czech and Slovakia, Hungary, Crete, Cyprus, Corsica. In Europe, only the Alps and Mount Etna provide other 3000m peaks, or the Caucasus in Asia Minor.
The Scottish Munroes (3000ft mountains) have been popularised by their name, and the application of the Manuel name to 3000m peaks in Spain is a cheap attempt give them the same kind of respect.
For those who don’t know where to begin, this guide is designed to motivate and guide walkers up the easiest, biggest and best climbs in the Pyrenees.