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Walking in the Off-Season: An Autumnal Excursion to the Pyrenees


The snowline beckoned.  The ice crusted flora crunched underfoot as we ascended the giant bowl upwards and towards the mountains that framed our world in a 270 degree vista.  The sun lit up the blue sky and sparkled of the snow crystals as if we were walking over a field covered in millions of diamonds.  It was still and silent:  Not even the birds dared to pierce the peace and lay hidden away from view down in the lower sides of the valley.  And there was no one there.  We were alone on the mountain, despite it being one of the most popular spots for trekkers in the Pyrenees.

Being alone in nature is the best feeling in the world.  It is the reason we seek out these places at the ends of the world.  But as we have done, it can also be found a mere three hours from Barcelona.  Walking in the off-season, that period between summer and winter, in an area that neither of us had ever visited was, admittedly, a gamble.  But it paid off.

At 2,400m we reached the mountain pass that marked our lunch spot and turn around point.  The valleys stretched out to the horizon in front of us and behind; greens and greys and reds and browns of autumnal forests, mountains and hills, framed either side by spires of rock covered in snow and ice. 

A magical moment for only us to savour. 

The Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes is accessible from Espot. 


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