TOPO Hiking

Pic des Posets via the Crête des Espadas from the Angel Orus refuge, Eriste

Topo published on |


dôme final avant l’ascension du Posets

Access to the Pic des Posets, the second highest peak in the Pyrenees after the Aneto, via the Crête des Espadas is an original, aerial, alpine route, much less frequented than the normal route. Although not very difficult, the route requires you to be able to cope with a lack of space and to be willing to climb small sections of exposed terrain (III+ max). The presence of snow can make things more complicated. The loop, with its many peaks over 3000m and splendid views of the Maladeta massif and Monte Perdido in the distance, is superb and well worth the detour.

Technical summary

The data above corresponds to the itinerary from the Angel Orus refuge.

■ S tarting point: Angel Orus hut, Eriste, Aragon
Type of route: high alpine loop hike, ridge with climbing section
Distance: 11 km
Cumulative elevation gain: +1300 m
Cumulative negative altitude gain: -1270 m
Estimated total time: 6h to 8h
■ Min and max altitude: 2100 m / 3369 m
Marking: GR on approach, cairned trail on return
Equipment in place: none
Equipment required: crampons, ice axe, safety rope

Difficulty: III+ passages, rated PD+, aerial and exposed sections


Topo de la Crête des Espadas et du Posets depuis le refuge de Viados on
Topo du Pic des Posets par la voie normale

Access to the place

Getting to Benasque. Shortly before reaching Benasque, you pass through the village of Eriste. Take the road to the left, which winds its way up a steep little road to the parking area for the Espigantosa waterfall, where the path to the Angel Orus refuge starts. In summer, this small road is closed, so take the shuttle bus to Eriste.

From the Espigantosa parking lot, to reach the Angel Orús "El Forcau" refuge at 2150m, take the signposted path which goes down into the valley and then climbs steeply at the end to leave the forest below the refuge (550m ascent, approx. 1h30).

Map & topo

The route on the ridge is approximate.

Voir en plein écran

Itinerary description


The route is long and physically demanding. There are a few technical passages to negotiate with equipment and some very exposed climbs. Ice axes, crampons and belay equipment are essential.

1st part: from the refuge to the ridge at the foot of the Diente Royo (3010m, 1h30)

From the refuge, a marked GR with cairns climbs up to Posets. Further on, you reach the point where you leave the normal Posets route and turn left towards the Ibon de la Llardaneta. Continue up to the Col d'Eriste (2862m). Depending on the conditions, you may need to put on your camping shoes to reach the ridge in the valley above the Ibon. From up here, you can see the Monte Perdido massif on the other side and the entire ridge that stretches and undulates all the way to Posets.
Part 2: the ridge to Pic des Espadas or Pointe de la Llardaneta (3332m)

Here we go for the long route of the Espadas ridge. First we pass the Diente Royo (2943m), then after a slight descent, we climb to the second summit: the Tucon Royo (3122m). The rest of the way to the Pic des Espadas is a little trickier, but not too difficult, apart from a not-so-hard but exposed and airy climbing section (III+). We're now at the Pic des Espadas (3332m), with the Pic des Posets in our sights. The ridge between the 2 Espadas summits is narrower, and not so easy when snow-covered.
Part 3: from Espadas to Pic des Posets (3369m)

The exit from the Pic des Espadas leads to the pas du funambule or el paso del caballo, which is ultimately the most difficult part, as it is very aerial. We then cross 2 other summits, the Tuca de Llardaneta (3311 m) and Tuqueta Roya (3273 m) to reach the last part: the final ascent to the Pic des Posets. The views from the summit are spectacular.
Part 4: Pic des Posets to Angel Orus hut (2150m, 2h)

Return via the normal route. Take the southern ridge, then wind down the wide, stony slope to reach the foot of the Dent Llardana (small pass). From here, enter the narrow, stony valley that gradually opens up, with the possible presence of an upper névé. Further down, the path crosses a small gorge and continues to descend into the Fonda channel. You come to a large grassy flat where the Llardaneta torrent flows, with the outward fork to the Ibon. Follow the GR back to the refuge.

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