Orri and Icebergs

An orri is an ancient shelter built for shepherds from dry stones with a rock roof, then covered in vegetation. An iceberg is not.

Booked in to the Refuge Fourcat for two nights we walked in past the dams from the French side. The 1300m ascent took us past a number of orri in various states of disrepair. We did find one with a foam matress inside but generally the shepherds have opted for more comfortable accommodation these days and so maintaining previous versions is a low priority. The refuge is in a magnificent corrie on the Andorra / France border. As all the other hikers were in for a single night we wre deemed worthy of a private room, brilliant.

With some advice from the gaurdian we set a plan to scramble the ridge of the corrie taking in the peaks and some of the fromtier the next day. Some of the scrambling was just on the limit of comfort without a rope but then we did opt for adventure over easier ground. The flora was beautiful with saxifrage, sedums and gentiene all in flower. Our route took in Pic de Malcaras, Pid de L’Etamg Fourcat and Pic de Tristagne and then descending back the the refuge via Port de L’Albeille.

For the get out back to the van we opted to take in Pic de L,Aspre via the ridge from Etangs de Petsiguer, again on the limit of comfort without a rope. We did opt for the route down via the path and even that was not an “easy option”. The GR10 and its variants meant that we did not retrace our steps from the ascent.

A great 3 days away on a refuge with a beautiful setting and a charming gaurdian.

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