Peaks and Ridges :: Essential Information
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 March 2011 08:23
Ax-Les-Thermes:We stay in the family run 2 star Hotel Terminus, which provides us with a comfortable start and end to our holiday. Alain and Elizabeth offer a warm welcome in their lovely hotel. They are proud to serve up delicious evening meals using meat and vegetables from local producers. The rooms are large and all have a window overlooking the river Ariège. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the centre of Ax lesThermes, opposite the railway station. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, as well as a telephone and television. The kitchen produces excellent authentic Pyrenean dishes. Accommodation is normally allocated on a twin share basis.
Refuge des Besines:This is a comfortable modern refuge at 2104m built at the edge of the tree line overlooking the imposing PuigPedros. There is a lake below the refuge and is the perfect place to relax. It holds 55 people in dormitories of varying sizes. It has hot showers and inside toilets. More info >>> (external website).
L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre: The gite d'etape is located in the center of the village close to the shops and bars. It is a friendly family run place with a spacious lounge / dinner and comfortable rooms with beds (2 bunks). There is unlimited hot water. More info on the Gite L'Hospitalite (external website).
Refuge du Ruhle: This new refuge is perched on a south facing hillside at 2185m. It commands a stunning view of the Andorran border and is a great place to sit and admire the sunset. It holds 50 people in 8 person dormitories and has hot showers and inside toilets. More info on the Refuge de Rhule (external website).
Breakfasts: Refuge breakfasts consist of bread, Jam and a hot drink. We supplement these with fruit, brioche, cheeses etc. which you will be asked to carry with you.
Lunches: You will be supplied with a substantial goody bag at the start of the week which will be restocked in L'Hospitalet. Vegetarians an are welcome but can expect a fairly bland diet.
Dinner: The evening meal will be provided by the Hotel, Refuges or Gite d'Etape where we are staying. These meals are designed around the walkers appetite - so you can expect be fed good food in vast quantities. Most dishes served are traditional to the region which has a large Catalan influence.
Special diets. Vegetarians should be aware that the refuges are unable to provide anything other than omalette so expect a fairly limited diet.
During the walking holiday you be accompanied by James Thompson, a qualified International Mountain Leader and member of BAIML (British Association of International Mountain Leaders). James has been leading safe and enjoyable walking holidays around the world since 1998. He is passionate about the area and throughout the week will offer informal lectures about the mountains, nature and local history. James will carry all the equipment necessary to safeguard the group during the holiday.
There is a maximum of 12 people (minimum 4) plus James on this walking holiday. Bookings from single people are welcome as activity holidays are a great way to make new friends.
What to Bring
Although there is a backpacking element to this holiday, a well packed 35 - 40 L rucksack weighing no more than 10kg should be appropriate for this week. The refuges provide blankets, washed clothes tend to dry our overnight and you will be reunited with your 'main luggage' half way through the week (so you can swap for a new set of clothes). You will be sent a link to our suggested packing list with your final joining instructions, sent out a week or so before your trip. For information before this time, please see our Before You Go Section of the website.
The proximity of the region to the Mediterranean gives us a warm stable climate. Perfect walking weather! Rain can not be ruled out, but is normally short lived. The main threat to us if the possibility of afternoon thunder storms. These can develop fairly quickly could affect our chances of getting to a peak.