Christmas at the “Cirque de Gavarnie”

A circus of almost 1500 meters of elevation, a large ice-climbing of 400 meters, grey stone with orange shades, slopes covered by green grass… Back to the Pyrenean Journey of Lara Amoros.
In wintertime, “Cirque de Gavarnie” is three successive floors of ice separated by two larges blanket of snow and up there, this ice cube that is hanging over Lara’s head it’s “Aloïs”. It’s a large amount of ice, clearly visible from the bottom. You can catch it after two pitch of stone and where we climb in two styles: free climbing and air climbing. To close out 2016 in a perfect note !



First night at the base camp in ”Ouzous”, in the “Argelès Valley”. Depart early the next morning to arrive at the foot of Circus. The two first floors are a strong challenge to get right to the top of this remarkable line.

Departure with the headlamp, Lara and her partner Bruno wait until they see more clearly to start climbing the first floor. First conclusion: it goes well! Nevertheless, beware of “Overdose” and “Maestro” that are hanging dangerously over the left lines…


Bruno went into «La Cascade Zuloaga», Lara follow him 60m after with a taut rope and then on the right to get «Le Panneau Central». After almost 2 hours of climbing, the first floor is done.
Finally at the base of the second floor! They choose the “Mitologico”. After two big lengths they reach the last blanket of snow at the foot of the third floor. 
After the last snow slope, the bivouac set up at the foot of “Memento Mori”. It’s still early… time to enjoy the panorama through the 3rd floor balcony.




The next morning, « Aloïs » are waiting for them! On the program, aid climbing! A short period of ice reaching over the stone! Attention of the stones that’s waiting to fall down! Continuing the ascension like “walking on eggs” to leave the belay. The split, a little further, is welcome to arrive on the mini-dihedral complemented by few pitons.
The second pitch can start and the stone is a way much better! They can climb with their hands. Arriving at the belay, the time to ice has come.




« It’s so incredible to hang on the piece of ice, at the top of the circus » said Lara

After three pitch quite steep, they’re finally on the top! For the first time in Gavarnie, we can say it’s a success !