Benasque – part 2

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THE BASIC route outlined here, below the famous peaks of the Maladeta Massif, is one of the most popular in the Pyrenees. Best avoided in August due to large numbers of day trippers, the walk to the waterfall at the Forau d’Aiguallut is well-trodden ground. This means it is generally accessible most of the year, even in the snow. Two weeks ago, walkers with and without snow shoes, were ploughing the trail which – although covered in snow – did not present any problems.
With the start point above 1,700 metres at Llanos del Hospital, the walker is already in high-mountain country. It’s around 7km to the Plann d’Aiguallut – a wide flat pasture area above 2,000 metres, which is criss-crossed by streams. With only around 350 metres of ascent, the absence of steep slopes allows for walking in most conditions. The two routes outlined here make use of the basic route – but with variations and add-ons which make for a more enjoyable day. These go (via a detour) to the Renclusa mountain refuge and, using the full walk, a continuation to the Col de Toro which looks into France. The routes appear on the Aneto/Maldeta 1:25,000 map, available in shops in the town – an essential buy.

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