Summer – Winter
It is in the sumptuous cirque du Lys that the alpine ski disciplines are practiced. With good weather, you will be able to contemplate the Pyrenees’s peaks from the top of the ridges.
The snowshoes invented by the inuit native americans were made of porcupine tendons (replaced today by resins), fixed to a wood sieve. The modern snowshoes are also equipped with metalic crampons to ensure the good hanging on steeps, aswell as a fixation system that can adapt also to your hiking footware and pre ski boots. Through a programm with outings of all levels, it will be in complete quietness that you will be able to discover the magic of the snowed Pyrenees in winter.
The ski touring is a particular practice of ski, very close to nature, completely independent from the specific developments and arrangements related to the skiable zones (no mecanic lifts and it avoids all preconditioned areas). The slopes are sometimes very strong and skiers most often use alpine skies (the cross-country skies are rare, but a possibility for the touring ski..). The climb is done thanks to a particular equipment of the soles of the skis : with alpine skis it is the often called seal-skin, because this is the fur that was used previously, prior to the invention of synthetic materials. This climb can be combined with regular walks, skis on hand or back. Downhill is done sliding on snow, according to the appropriate style of the skis being used.
The cross-country ski is a winter sport included in the nordic ski. It is practiced in snowed and arranged areas (if not, it is called backcountry skiing, also knows as off-piste, alpine touring, or out-of-area). This sport is practiced on snowed and arranged areas, on the north side of the Pont d’Espagne.
INTERNATIONAL SKI SCHOOL
The ski and snowboard international school of Cauterets offers you courses on alpine ski, snowboard, freestyle, telemark skiing, disabled skiing for adults and children. Whichever the discipline: alpine ski or snowboard, the Esprit-Montagne school offers either private or group classes. Signatory of a national quality chart, the collective classes are limited to a maximum of 10 people. The younger will discover skiing through numerous adapted playful games. They will develop in the secured and enclosed garden of snow.
Country of water, streams, rivers and sun, the Pyrenees are an exceptional playground for the practice of water sports. You will discover the mountain in its essence, far from pollution, in the preserved environment of the Pyrenees National Park. Mineral marvels sculped by the streams, the canyons offer an ideal frame for athletes in love with nature. The canyoning allies swimming in lively waters, descending natural water slides, waterfall jumps and rope descending. Sensations are guaranteed, canyoning is before anything an aquatic walk through sumptuous landscapes.
Discover along the water the valley of Gaves located between Argelès Gazost and Lourdes. Accompanied by river guides (canoeing and kayaking monitors with a state graduation), your boat will slide by Gave de Pau,which starts out on the Cirque de Gavarnie and passes by the route of the Kayak World Cup at Saint-Pé. Rafting, mini raft, air boat, hot dog, canoeing and kayaking… You have not finished discovering or rediscovering the pleasures offered by our water courses.
The climb is the art of elevating between the sky and earth, etymology of the word comes from the Italian “scalata” literally “assault with the help of ladders”. Climbing nowadays can involve other ways of advancing vertically: by opposition, handhold gripping, jumpo moves, crochet. To the flexible motions that allow to master the rock, it is convenient to add the learning of the necessary technical skills that allow to evolve in total security.
Born in Italy, the via ferratas are arranged adventure circuits over a cliff, with the use of bars, cables, tyroleans, rop bridge, allowing beginners without any climbing experience nor particular gymnastic qualities, to evolve along the rocky walls. These vertical walks, take place in the magnificent frame of the Gorges du Pont Napoléon or in Gavarnie, with the famous “Cirque de Gavarnie” classified as World Natural Heritage, on the background. The “via ferrata” offers anyone the opportunity to live the sensations experienced by mountaineers on the walls, with the advantage of the total security this method provides.
DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING
From the summit of the station (2400m) to the village of Cauterets (900m), there is a slope of more than 1500 meters awaiting you. This experience will provide BTT beginners and sensations seekers will be delighted, with trails specially arranged and prepared in modules: raised bends, setp-ups, roadgaps … Plenty for all preferences and all levels! 3 levels of difficulty are proposed:
- Blue trails por downhill beginners/intermediates
- Red trails for downhill intermediates/knowledgeable and practiced
- Black trails for downhill knowledgeable and practiced
Departing from the cable car of Lys and the chairlift from Barbat, climb to the very top of Cauterets, admire the view and enjoy the variety of sports offered at the station: trails, paths, peaks, undergrowth, singletracks, scree slopes…
THE PONT D’ESPAGNE AND THE GAUBE LAKE
The mythical lac de Gaube that has bewildered thousand of visitors is accessible in a few minutes from the Pont d’Espagne via Gaube’s chairlift or by the GR10 (1h15 of walk). Beneath the Vignemale (3298m) it is known as one of the most beautiful lakes from the Pyrenees.
THE VALLEY OF GAUBE
Majestic streams, iron mountains, the valley of Gaube will impress you for the beauty of its landscape. From the lake to the Oulettes refuge, the view on Vignemale, roof of the French Pyrenees, is breathtaking.
THE VALLEY OF MARCADAU
Leaving the Pont d’Espagne parking towards the Cayan plateau, it takes 2h30 to arrive at the Marcadau refuge. Discover a walk shared by forests and running streams.
THE VALLEY OF LUTOUR
From la Fruitière, you have access to the magnificent lac d’Estom within 2h. It is the starting point of numerous trails and of an exceptional valley with high mountains, amazement guaranteed!
THE VALLEY OF ILHEOU
You can access it by foot from the Cambasque (a 1h30 walk) or with the cablecabin from Cirque du Lys. Profit of the terrace at the refuge to admire the lake.
Pic du Cabaliros
The Cabaliros is certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes in the region, a privileged balcony over the Pyrenees peaks. Itinerary from Cauterets through a comfortable trail well marked and without difficult in absence of snow, except for a strong drop (+1300m) and its length of 19 kms if roundtrip.
LOURDES AND ITS SANCTUARY
Lourdes, at the same time a small mountain city and an vast pilgrimage site is 35 minutes away.
Le Pic du Midi
The Pic du Midi, 2877m high: astronomical observatory, star museum, panoramic terraces looking on the peaks of the Pyrenees
Le Cirque de Gavarnie
The Cirque de Gavarnie, the greatest glacial cirque in the Pyrenees is 50 minutes away.