ROUTE 18: WALLON-MARCADAU REF. – COL D'ARRATILLE – COL DES MULETS – OULETTES DE GAUBE REF.
Wallon-Marcadau refuge - Arratille pass - Los Mulos pass - Oulettes de Gaube refuge
- Time4h 20'
- Vertical rise875 m
- Vertical descent595 m
- Horizontal distance9,6 Km
- Type of journeyMountain Crossing
- Severity of the natural environment3
- Difficulty in movement3
- Amount of effort required3
This walk begins by heading east from Wallon-Marcadau refuge (1865 m) on the main track towards Pont d'Espagne. We soon reach a signposted crossroads next to a bridge (1813 m) (crossing with route 03). Leave the track and cross to the other side of the river to head up towards the south of Gaba d'Arratilha valley. The firm, rocky path is not very steep at the start and passes through a forested area. Some time later it moves away from the river and ascends more abruptly to the western side of Lou d'Arratilha (2247 m). Border round the south end of the meadows surrounding the lake and climb over the upper brow of the hill, where there are some painted markings, following the zigzags in the rock field on the west side of Pic Né. We will then reach Lac du Col d'Arratille (2507 m), located practically at Col d'Arratille or Coth d'Arratilha (2526 m) (crossing with route 20).
From the pass we follow a path to the left, dropping down a few metres and then crossing gravelly horizontal path around the entire head of Ara valley. Do not mistake this route with another that is less obvious at the start since this is another one marked with painted markings that descends directly down from the pass. At the end of this path the route joins a path that comes from the right (2522 m) (crossing with route 19), also indicated with painted markings, which we should follow to the end of the path. The two paths join together to climb the last few metres of the steep climb to reach Los Mulos pass (2594 m).
The descent starts on a steep slope. The descent is relentless with zigzag after zigzag until we reach Eras Oulettas plain (2148 m). With the refuge in sight we only have to border round the plain and cross the stream over a bridge and then climb the short hill taking us to the door of Oulettes de Gaube refuge (2158 m).