Certescan from Col de Colatx
Always got a plan. This time it involved a trip to Spain to stay at the Certescan Refuge. We left the barn early to get to the parking for Cirque du Cagateille. Picked up a couple of hitch hikers on the way who were also heading for Certescan.
Set off up to Etang Hillette in the shade before the sun got too high, then on up to Col de Colatx. The only people we saw were the couple we gave a lift to and a shepherd. From the Col we turned west and started along the ridge towards Certescan. At this stage clouds were enveloping Certescan and Montabone which did not look favourable.
Good progress to Pic de Soune on sound, solid granite rock. From there onwards we encountered some loose sections and some exciting scrambling. We dropped off the ridge to the Spanish side twice to miss out sections of grade 4 down climbing which we deemed too risky and finished up the snowy scree between Certescan Nord and the Spanish Certescan. After a late lunch we traipsed down to the Col where the HRP heads down to Refuge Certescan arriving there with time to freshen up before dinner.
Another early start and lukewarm coffee before heading round east to Etang de Romedo de Dait and Romedo de Baix. Turned North on to the Guilo lakes and up to the Col de Guilo. Decided to go over Pic Turguilla and then down via Cabanede Turguilla. Passed Etang de la Piede where we picked up the trail back to Cirque de Cagataille. This last trail we would not opt to do again as very steep and greasy rock hopping with long grass obscuring where one wanted to place feet. Picked up Poppy in 33 degrees of heat and back to the barn.
The first day was over 2500m of ascent, 17km and took us ten and a half hours. Day two was 800 m and another 17km with lots of downhill.