Cirque de Troumouse
Key information: Cirque de Troumouse
- A huge theatre of cliffs and peaks surrounding rough, lake-studded ground with a raised rocky hill at its heart which commands tremendous views around the cirque.
- You can also traverse out round the high hillsides toward Gavarnie.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest17
- Human interest3
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 4 hrs for circuit
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The Cirque de Troumouse is utterly and thrillingly different from its western counterparts in the Gavarnie area, a huge (10km across, apparently) theatre of cliffs and peaks surrounding rough, lake-studded ground with a raised rocky hill at its heart which commands tremendous views around the cirque. On both sides, deep, waterfally valleys drop to the Héas valley far below.
A road climb to the high ground to the west of the central hill, from which you can make easy explorations, but the best route is a circuit which starts and ends at Héas in the deep valley, and follows the lovely main Héas valley up under the eastern wall of the cirque, to the lovely lakes in the heart of the huge bowl, and then back down to Héas on the road (not much traffic, so not too depressing, and wonderful big views of the cirque and down to the meadows of Héas. (In mid June, when we were there, the cirque was still so snow-choked that we couldn't make this full circuit, so walked up the snow-covered road and back (unforgettable views of the snowy crags and the constant crack of avalanches cascading down the cliff faces), then traversed round toward the d'Estaubé valley. Wonderful.)
If that isn't enough, you can tackle the high-hillside traverse from just below the Auberge de Maillet round the hillsides above the Vallée de Héas to the Barrage des Gloriettes (at the bottom of the Vallée d'Estaubé), and/or on from the barrage round the Piméné massif and back high up the eastern wall of the Gavarnie valley (and thence to Gavarnie itself), with huge views all round.
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