ROUTE 31: OULETTES DE GAUBE REF. – PETIT VIGNEMALE
Oulettes de Gaube ref. - Hourquette d'Ossoue - Petit Vignemale
- Time5h 30'
- Vertical rise870 m
- Vertical descent870 m
- Horizontal distance9,7 Km
- Type of journeyReturn
- Severity of the natural environment3
- Difficulty in movement3
- Amount of effort required3
This is a simple peak and a good option as a starter to ascending the high peaks of this mountain range. The entire route takes place on a good path without any technical difficulties. We should not forget however that the summit is at 3000 metres altitude. The simplicity of the route should not be an excuse for failing to be cautious and prudent as required in any high mountains.
The route is marked as the GR 10 long distance footpath until we reach the pass. From there the route takes place on section of path and many markers to indicate the route.
From Oulettes de Gaube pass (2158 m) a path can be seen to the left which the GR 10 long distance footpath follows which is marked through the entire route described here. We follow this path which leads out of the Oulettes de Gaube plain and starts to ascend the side of the valley. We follow the long path, diagonal at first and then zigzagging to constantly gain height. We pass by Fountaine du Centenaire and near the end of the zigzags we pass a path to the left leading to Col d'Arraillé. The path heads towards the south and the slope levels off somewhat. The Arraillé lakes are to our left while we continue our constant climb towards Hourquette d'Ossoue. On the last part of the ascent there is a big rock field making the path a lot more difficult. The slope steepens at this point before finally reaching the Hourquette d’Ossoue pass (2734 m) (crossing with route 21).
At the pass we need to leave the GR footpath, which heads off to the nearby visible Bayssellance refuge, and instead we head to the right (south) along a route marked with cairns taking us up the north face of the peak. The path splits at several points, but all options finally lead to the same place: the summit of Petit Vignemale (3032 m).
We return by following the same route.