ROUTE 09: LARRIBET REFUGE – RESPOMUSO REFUGE
Larribet refuge - Passing of Lavedán - Respomuso refuge
- Time4h 5'
- Vertical rise705 m
- Vertical descent625 m
- Horizontal distance10,3 Km
- Type of journeyMountain Crossing
- Severity of the natural environment4
- Difficulty in movement5
- Amount of effort required3
An easy path leads from Larribet refuge (2072 m) towards the abrupt basin home to Batcrabère lakes (crossing with route 12 above the first lake), at the foot of the imposing Palas peak. Heading southeast, this easily discernible path borders round the lakes on the right side and ascends towards the small Micoulaou lakes (crossing with route 35). Ahead of us the rocky terrain makes the path less obvious, but the painted markings and the cairns mean we are able to follow the route relatively easily towards the base of the east crest of Palas, where the narrow Lavedán pass is located (2614 m).
The first few metres downhill towards the south face are practically vertical. There is a short climb which, although not particularly difficult, does require a certain degree of caution. Once the chimney has been overcome we reach a wide cirque at the foot of the south face of Palas. The terrain here is a chaotic boulder field which is rather difficult going. The painted markings become less obvious and there is no real path to speak of. We will therefore have to pay attention on this section and head diagonally towards the west. We drop down to around 2530 m, at which point we cross the route to Palas, the paths leading to Col de Palas and head off to the valley floor, the route to Ibons d’Arriel (crossings with routes 13, 28 and 29). We ignore the first two routes and follow the cairns to lose height at a fairly rapid rate, and reach the end of Ibón d'Arriel Alto (2235 m).
From here the terrain is easier going and the path much more obvious. We then border around the left side of the upper lakes. Beneath the second of the lakes, after crossing through a narrow pass, there is a fork where we bear left following the stony path. Leaving behind two smaller lakes teh path heads east to border round the south side of Frondellas. We should then be able to see Respomuso dam and the path is now obvious. In the area around the dam, just a few metres from Virgen de las Nieves hermitage a signpost (crossing with route 01) indicates the meeting point with the GR 11 long distance footpath, and it is here where we bear left and walk up the north side of the reservoir to reach Respomuso refuge (2200 m).