ROUTE 04: OULETTES DE GAUBE REFUGE – PONT D'ESPAGNE
Oulettes de Gaube refuge - Pont d’Espagne car park
- Time2h 45'
- Vertical rise50 m
- Vertical descent725 m
- Horizontal distance8,3 Km
- Type of journeyMountain Crossing
- Severity of the natural environment2
- Difficulty in movement2
- Amount of effort required2
A footbridge near Oulettes de Gaube refuge (2158 m) takes us to the left bank of the river providing access to the return path, leaving Vignemale behind us. The entire route back to Pont d'Espagne is signposted as part of GR 10 long distance footpath and follows an obvious route that is easy to follow.
The route heads constantly north down the valley, near the course of Gave des Oulettas de Gaube. The first section follows the left bank of the river and later crosses over a bridge to the other side. The flat terrain ends and we start to descend more steeply and begin to see the first signs of the forest. Once again the terrain levels off and the signposted path passes in front of Cabane du Pinet, a small free refuge in good condition. Another steeper stretch precedes another river crossing. Continue along the left bank flanking Lac de Gaube (1731 m) before reaching a wider path leading to the upper ski lift station with the bar / restaurant that can be seen next to the lake. Take the wider path to the right, crossing the bridge over the river before almost immediately joining the path that enters the forest again, once again heading north. The final metres take place between trees, first on a gentle slope and later at the end of the path zigzagging down to the paved road next to Pont d'Espagne (1496 m). Follow the road to the right and on one of the bends there is a path leading to Wallon on route 03. Follow the paved road a few minutes more to the information centre and Pont d'Espagne car park (1460 m).