Ascent of Pico de Aneto on 1983-07-25

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Miguel Isla Climente (guide)
Date:Monday, July 25, 1983
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pico de Aneto
    Elevation:11168 ft / 3404 m

Ascent Trip Report

Yesterday after exploring Benasque (3,733'), I drove up the Esera Valley , headed for the Refugio de la Renclusa (7,020'). After about 6 miles of good paved road, the next 3-4 miles was very rocky and rough to the trailhead, swarming with campers, near Plan d’Estan. From here it was about a 45-minute hike up to the spacious Refugio, which can sleep 110 with 4 double-deck cots/room, gas lighting, and a good kitchen. My guide for tomorrow’s climb, Miguel Isla Climente, appeared about 10:00PM. Around midnight an intense thunder/lightening storm arrived with strong wind and rain. Fortunately, it disappeared after an hour or so, and the morning broke with a few remaining clouds, and the day’s weather, while not ideal and "iffy" at times, did not ruin plans for today’s climb of Pic de Aneto. Departing the hut at 6:30AM, Miguel and I followed rocky/grassy slopes up to the saddle at Portillon Inferior (9,004'). From here we walked through the soft snow of the Aneto glacier to Collado de Coronas , then climbed up to the summit ridge at Puente de Mahoma . From here an airy crossing of the ridge through granite blocks continued without problems to the summit, which we reached after 5 hours from the hut. The summit has a large cross and statue of the Virgin. It was cold and windy under threatening skies, but fortunately the weather improved with the day. We started down around noon, this time via Portillon Superior, returning to Refugio de la Renclusa by 3:30PM. Miguel and I parted ways at the trailhead after a successful day climbing the highest peak in the Pyrenees. I returned to Hotel Benasque in town, with a hearty dinner at El Puente.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4148 ft / 1264 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4148 ft / 1264 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Not bad, though threatening at times
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4148 ft / 1264 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:Voie normale-Portillon Inferior
    Start Trailhead:Refugio de la Renclusa  7020 ft / 2139 m
    Time:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4148 ft / 1264 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:Voie Normale-Portillon Superior
    End Trailhead:Refugio de la Renclusa  7020 ft / 2139 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes

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