Gareth Evans

Trip to the Himalayas of Gazost

April 2023.

I often think to myself that it is possible to go a long way in one's mind without going a long way physically by getting on an aeroplane (with the hours of boredom and the pollution that that implies). 

To the East of Hautacam, between the valleys of Gazost and Lesponne, an incredible sacred, the Montaigu.

At 2339m, you would need to climb it 4 times for it to be the same amount as going up Everest.  And you don't need a quasi-military organisation, nor do you have to step over dead bodies lining the ridge, avoiding empty oxygen bottles and aother rubbish left by invading sportsmen and women

In addition, the view is breathtaking and there are several Tibetan and Indian restaurants in Lourdes and Tarbes.

OK, OK, it's not quite the same thing.  And the Nepalese guides and sherpas need to work too.  And you don't get the same culturel experience.  There is just a shepherd's hut on Montaigu, no Buddhist temple nor prayer flags.  But I'm sure that you understand what I'm trying to say.  Often, there is no need to keep looking further further further when beauty is right in front of your nose. And how beautiful it is too!  

Contemplate this ridge with narrow, extravagant flutings that would make the most talented architects on the planet jealous. If Juliet had met this handsome Montaigu, Romeo would definitely have had to give up all hope.  Fragile and ephemeral, vertical snows defying the laws of gravity, this neighbour of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre has absolutely no need to envy her. 

The white ridge, glistening in the sun, slides down into the black depths of the forest like the tail of a dragon inviting you to cry for joy. 



Gareth Evans

International Mountain Leader in the French Pyrenees
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+33 (0)7 81 51 04 60  
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