Ascent of El Tallón on 2016-08-24

Climber: Mark Trengove

Others in Party:Tobias Trengove
Louise Trengove (to and from refuge only)
Date:Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:El Tallón
    Elevation:10315 ft / 3144 m

Ascent Trip Report

My first 3000 metre peak. From the car park at the col we took the track south-west to the Col de Bouchero on the Spanish frontier, and then a good but rough path east around the north flank of the mountain. After crossing a cascade dry-shod, the path climbed steeply in zig-zags to the Col des Sarradets, then dropped a little to the refuge. There we left Louise.

A hot steep trudge up a lateral morraine ensued, up to a small plateau. The trail continued, taking a rising line up the remains of the Glacier de la Breche - care needed. This led to the famous Breche de Roland - a sharp gash in the frontier ridge reached by a short easy scramble. Beyond we were in Spain, and, despite being at about 2800 metres, the heat was stifling. The trail continued west below the cliffs of Pointe Bazillac 2975m to another col, blocked by the limestone tooth of le Doigt de Dieu. The slog up the path on scree to the summit was somewhat of an endurance, what with the searing heat and altitude.

Eventually we trod on the summit, with stunning views along the frontier ridge, the brown parched peaks of the Spanish Pyrenees to the south, and the green hazy plains of France to north.

We returned by our outward route, picking up Louise again at the hut. The cascade below the glacier proved more difficult to cross on our return, as the heat had increased the volume of melt-water. We watched a marmot on the path about its business, unaware of our presence.

Also see photos and log at
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
On the searing summit (2016-08-24). Photo by Mark Trengove.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3182 ft / 969 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Hot and sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3182 ft / 969 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.5 km
    Route:Col des Tentes - Porte de Bouchero - Col des Sarra
    Start Trailhead:Col des Tentes  7133 ft / 2174 m
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes

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