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[WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2019 9:17 pm
by scoha
Anybody willing to part with (or lend !) a set of maps that covers the HRP? Planning for a Aug/Sept traverse this year

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 12:11 pm
by Mark F
I am unwilling to sell my old RandoPyrenees maps (Nos 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 21, 22, 23) but could photocopy bits if required. These (hopefully updated) may be available from http://www.stanfords.co.uk/B%C3%A9arn-Aspe-Ossau-Pyrenees-National-Park-Rando-Editions-3_9782344008058 or other retailers. I would see what they have and then try to fill in the missing ones. I would also recommend Topo Pirineos for Garmin gps http://topopirineos.blogspot.com/ as a very useful and free map. You can load it into BaseCamp to view on a regular computer screen.

It is a fantastic walk. My avatar is a view from Hourquette d'Ossoue looking towards Vignemale.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 1:27 pm
by Warin
There is also https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=2018553 ... that will give you gpx/kml tracks for it .. click on the 'sections' tab to divide it up in to bits.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 3:32 pm
by Mark F
You have to watch out when using gpx tracks for the hrp. There are several versions of the hrp ranging from the original Georges Veron route and the more recent versions in the Cicerone guides by Ton Joosten with some differences between book editions plus any number of other variations. The Veron route was designed in the French style to deliver you to accommodation each evening while the Joosten routes assume some camping. In french this is bivouacking. Camping is car camping and often prohibited whereas you can bivouac most places once away from a road but only over night, the tent goes up after about 6pm must be down in the morning by 8am - times vary. There are several alternatives available if you enjoy tenting it which neither guide addresses. You also need a widish view of the area for detours, getting to and from resupply points, deal with weather issues, severe thunderstorms are common, etc..

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 6:49 pm
by Warin
The link I gave has 2 routes.

One is a continuous route named "Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne" described as "HRP Principale".

The other "HRP Variante" gives alternatives but is not a continuous route.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 7:35 pm
by scoha
Thank you both for your helpful info and tips - really appreciated. From what I can see its a bit of a weather juggle to complete the HRP before end of September (before chance of snow ramps up) (and closure of all or just some of the refuges ?? - be keen on your view on this aspect) and not starting too early in August to avoid worst of heat and holiday crowds. Im thinking 5 weeks (35 days) should probably do it but am reckoning on possibility of some snow at the tail end of September.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:10 pm
by Mark F
I would start the walk in the first half of August thus finishing mid to late September. This will certainly minimise the risks of snow but starting too early can also lead to snow issues as I found out in 2013 when I started at the end of June in a full on snow year. Don't worry too much about the heat, yes, it will be *&%$#! hot on the plains but you will be in the mountains and temps should be quite reasonable. From my times in the Pyrenees and the Alps you will mainly have mid 20s but don't plan on climbing out of a low valley in the early afternoon. You will find crowds at key points along the route, mainly day walkers walking to specific peaks and lakes but they fade away once you get to la rentrée (when French schools start up) about 2 September in 2019.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan, 2019 9:19 pm
by scoha
Thats good to know - thanks Mark. Thinking 3rd week August through to end of September - but still a bit of planning there. Appreciate your tips

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2019 9:34 am
by wobbly
Check out www.hrpguide.org
We purchased/donated to get the GPS waypoints (not a continuous track) but it also came with a very useful document covering all sorts of info re the track. But most useful of all was that whilst on the walk we'd get emails about current track conditions (snow/ice/closed huts etc) as other walkers posted/shared this info.
cheers Peter

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2019 8:51 pm
by scoha
Thanks Peter - yes good tip - Ive contacted to obtain file and notes

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2019 9:49 am
by MrFaulty
Have any of you who have done this walk also done the GR20 and if so, how does it compare? I did the GR20 south to north in 13 sdays 2017 and loved it (albeit it was difficult - probably in part due to the luxuries I was carrying), looking for something to plan for 2020.

Cheers
Ben

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2019 10:55 am
by Mark F
I haven't done the GR20 which is considered the hardest of the GR paths but the HRP has sections that I would rate more difficult than the GR5 and GR52 (French Alps) which I have walked. The HRP is an amalgam of the GR10 in France and the GR11 in Spain with many sections either not tracked or using more local paths. The beauty of the HRP is that it doesn't descend into the valleys at the drop of a hat (for accommodation and resupply) but tries to remain high and criss-crosses between France and Spain to create the best route without nationalism dictating which side of the border you are walking. Many of the harder sections have easier variants to deal with weather and snow so you can make it more or less difficult. Personally I preferred it to the GR5/GR52 - it was a more intimate environment compared to the grandeur of the Alps but still remarkably grand.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2019 11:07 am
by MrFaulty
Cheers, what sort of altitudes were you walking at?

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2019 11:57 am
by Warin
MrFaulty wrote:Cheers, what sort of altitudes were you walking at?

Using https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#rou ... 931!0.6775 click on elevation profile .. and you can view the altitudes... from 0 to 3,000 meters .. mostly around 2,000 metres.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2019 5:11 pm
by Mark F
THe HRP breaks down into about 3 sections. Hendaye to Lescun (the Basque country) where you are ranging from 1k to 2k metres elevation, then the higher Pyrennees at 1.5 to 3k elevation and once past Pic Canigou (2784m) you are heading back into lower terrain at 1.5 to 1k.

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb, 2019 2:42 pm
by MrFaulty
Thanks, altitude sounds pefect, high enough without risking altitude sickness or having difficulties with travel insurance!

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 3:25 pm
by MrFaulty
Okay, so its over twelve months till I do this, but can anyone provide advice for the best airports to fly in to and out of? A quick investigation suggests that any such flights shall require 2 stops at a minimum and shall also likely include airlines I'd prefer not to fly on (eg China Eastern). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Ben

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 4:02 pm
by Warin
MrFaulty wrote: can anyone provide advice for the best airports to fly in to and out of?


:?: A train connection might be way to go. Fly to Paris and then train to and fro?

Humm some of the 1 stops are longer time wise than the 2 stops... YMMV!

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 4:14 pm
by MrFaulty
Thanks, I'd prefer to steer clear of Paris airport, I went through there when I did the GR20 and I am still scarred!

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 4:20 pm
by MrFaulty
Thanks, I'd prefer to steer clear of Paris airport, I went through there when I did the GR20 and I am still scarred!

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 7:57 pm
by scoha
Im flying in to Bilbao via Madrid to see the magnificent Guggenheim - the 4hr train to Hendaye. Home via Barcelona to check out the Sagrada Familia. So a great walk bookended by haute culture :)

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2019 9:19 pm
by Mark F
Personally I would use Paris but otherwise Heathrow (I have far more scars from Heathrow compared to cdg) if Brexit hasn't totally stuffed the UK's transport systems. Then a flight to Bordeaux or Toulouse and train(s) from there.

If in Paris the tgv or there is a night train which stops at Hendaye bright and early. I caught the tgv to Bairritz and stayed at the youth hostel before getting a local train down to Hendaye - get off one stop before Hendaye (tiny station) - shorter stroll to the start.

I know what you mean by high culture - I pulled a muscle as I reached Canfranc and took a few days off. Amazing little train from Canfranc down to the plains. Visited Zaragosa and then the Alhambra

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Thu 21 Feb, 2019 10:35 am
by MrFaulty
Cheers, I may have just been very unlucky with CdG airport, but I was stuck in a queue for more than 2 hours, not pleasant at all. Heathrow on the other hand is great, I have flown into and out of heathrow about 8 or 9 times (my wife is a pommy) and apart from the odd sullen customs officer, have never had an issue

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb, 2019 2:09 pm
by wobbly
Mr Faulty
We flew in and out of Barcelona on Cathay it was $1250 rtn from Melb. On the same day we arrived in Barcelona we trained it to San Sebastion (approx 55 Euro) and then to Hendaye a few days later. PS if you go that way and need luggage storage in Barcelona check out Multi store in Fira. Far cheaper than any of the other options we could find for the 8 weeks we wanted it- and its on the train line from the AP into the city. Oh and Barcelona AP was no hassle.
Peter

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Mon 25 Feb, 2019 10:31 am
by MrFaulty
Awesome, thanks!

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 27 Feb, 2019 9:48 am
by wobbly
FYI Just heard Cicerone is releasing a new/updated HRP guide on 15 April this year. The walk now only takes 44 days to complete :-)

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Tue 05 Mar, 2019 8:18 pm
by rcaffin
Cathay Pacific to CDG Paris, then TGV to Hendaye. You can actually walk out of the airport onto a railway platform to get the TGV, or maybe a local to the TGV. Overnight train from the other end (or Tarascon) back to Paris. We found Heathrow pretty awful.

Now, train tickets to Hendaye. We bought our TGV tickets over the web once, from Sydney. But the stopover went from 1 hour to 12 hours as the plane had a minor fault (blocked pitot tube) and they had to get another one, so we missed our train with seats. The queues at the ticket counter at the airport railway station during the summer season are utterly unreal: you would be looking at waiting for several hours in the queue. We found a very short queue, but that was to the Help Desk. The guy there was actually USEFUL! Just get on the train when it arrives he said. When the ticket inspector comes around (and he does), ask to buy a ticket. No problems! The Inspector even takes credit cards! The catch is that you will not have a booked seat, and the TGV tends to be pretty full in summer. You can, of course, sit in the food carriage for a long time on a cup of coffee, and since the trip is >8 hrs, for lunch as well.

Alternately, spend the night in Paris (direct train airport to the centre) to recover from the 24 hours of flying. You may need it! Buy the tickets (if you can) from a local (in Paris) station. Buy your fuel canisters at Au Vieux Campeur. That is what we have done since the above.

Maps. Take the latest Cicerone book - at least it is in English! Yes, we can read the French guides - but can you? You can often buy the NEXT map at the local village in the valley, and you can go from map to map like that. Trying to buy all of them beforehand ... very hard. Veron or Joosten? RTFM and mix&match. There are LOTS of refuges along the way, and the staff will often recommend the best way to the next one. They may even make a phone booking at the next one for you.

Will a Refuge turn you away if full? If it is car-accessible, possibly. That happened to us once, so we camped. Up in the mountains - never. You may end up on a spare mattress in the dining room, but so what? They will NOT reject you.

Cheers
Roger

Re: [WTB] Haute Route Pyrenee (HRP) Maps

PostPosted: Wed 06 Mar, 2019 1:42 pm
by MrFaulty
Cheers, new book ordered; CDG airport is definitely not for me, think I'll go through one of the other options. Taking a tent and intending to camp as much as possible, obviously I wont be able to carry 35-45 days worth of food so will restock as I go and/or eat at the refuges.