Aneto Trip Report (#8382)

  • Signed By: Roel Boerman
  • Date submitted: September 22, 2000
  • Date(s) climbed: 11 september 2000

Pico de Aneto

On the 10th of September 2000 I arrived with a few friends at Benasque. The same evening I went out to the last car park at the starting point of the route. I did this to speak to some people that were up Aneto. From a friend in Finland (Janne Leppînen) I had already got quite useful information about the hotels, the bus ride to the starting point of the route, the necessity of bringing crampons and an ice axe and lots of other useful things. Pico de Aneto is a mountain of some difficulty with quite dangerous parts. First of all you canÌt climb it without crampons. An ice axe is a must for safety. DonÌt let people that tell you it can be done without one influence you. (the reason for which you will read later in this report) I went up Aneto wearing Mindl shoes of category C. Better is it to have walking shoes of category B or B/C and to have D for the crampons on the glacier. Further more one liter of water is enough for starters since there are many places at the glacier where you can get a refill. The basics of bringing enough food will be common knowledge. Good maps can be bought at the largest mountain store in the whole of Spain which can be fount at the main road in Benasque. (this store is also open on SundayÌs) I got up at 4 in the morning and even got a good breakfast at the hotel. You just have to tell them youÌre climbing Aneto the next day. I went to the last car park by car and waited for the bus to take me to the starting point of the route at app. 1940m. With several others we had to wait for the bus until 6 oÌclock which was quite a nuisance. The first leg to the renclusa at 2140m was easy and took only 40 minutes. The sight of it was terrible. It is a large building site with a lot of rubbish. It is possible however to spend the night there. The first bit after the renclusa is quite easy but steep. After about 2 hours I reached ÎPortillon InferiorÌ at 2742m. From here you have a nice view of the glacier and is important to have a good look of the route the other people take on the glacier. If you bring a small binocular you can also see the locations of the dangerous crevasses. I took the route to the glacier over the large boulders next to ÎCresta de tos PortillosÌ. This route is poorly marked however. You have to spot the small stone towers which mark the route. Sometimes however you have to just pick your own way. (regarding the many stone towers on different routes, many other people did the same.) At the foot of ÎPico de la MaladetaÌ I put on my crampons and started of on the glacier. I slowly ascended to the foot of ÎPico de CoronasÌ and stayed well above a few dangerous crevasses. In the extremely good weather which I had, it was no problem whatsoever. At this point you will find a large snow and ice wall which you have to walk along. If youÌre lucky there is a well marked trail of people that passed before you, but do be careful of the snow and ice condition. I then reached a very dangerous part on the glacier called ÎCollado de CoronasÌ. This part is very steep for which you have to be able to secure yourself with the ice axe. On my way down I filmed a group of Spanish people descending. One of them was a boy of about 13 years old accompanied by his farther BUT NOT SECURED WITH A ROPE !!! Just as I stopped filming he stumbled and slid down the glacier. His father and a friend were just able to dive after him and grab him by his shirt. Had they not done so he would have been DEAD. This part of the glacier can best be climbed with several people attached to each other by rope. Doing it on your own (like I did) is taking a risk. After another hour I reached ÎPuento de MahomaÌ. Here I had to take of the crampons and go for the top. Just below the top however is the most dangerous part of the ascend. There is a very narrow ridge which you will have to pas in order to reach the top. Again most people did this without being secured on a rope. (the previously mentioned boy and his farther were secured here I have to mention) The ridge consists of stacked boulders which can be passed with great caution however. DonÌt exceed your own capabilities when you are to tired. The wall drops down app. 500 to 1000m on either side of this just and at times Ï 50 cm Ï narrow ridge. At app. 13:30 hours I reached the top at 3404m with the previously mentioned group. What a sight it was. It was the highest mountain I climbed so far. Since IÌm from Holland where the highest of anything is about 300m it was a tremendous experience. I must say the weather was extremely well for climbing this mountain. So all in all it took me about 7 hours to reach the summit. On the way down we (the Spanish group and I) took an alternative route. At 19:30 hours we were at the bus site. It was a wonderful experience. To all the ones that havenÌt climbed Aneto: You must climb this one, but do take care !

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