Mountain Walks – May/June 2013

Spanish Pyrenees, Picos di Europa, the Ossau, Triglav Region, Kitzbuehel, The Orkneys

15 walks in 21 days

An eclectic trip, with 2 weeks in Spain, Bled, 1 week in Austria, 1 week in the Orkneys, and a couple of days in the UK.

Click on any image to see a larger version

Spanish Pyrenees – May 2013

The Val de Ordesa is just inside Spain, south of Gavarnie. It's a deep canyon, with a walk east and northwards.

Out our bedroom window in
Torla, with our gorge walk
at the end, to the right
Northern wall, early morning
And the Southern wall,
closed, avalanche-prone,
in May!?
The first of four
diverse watrerfalls
Another, further up the valley
The head of the valley.
It was freezing, and
we stayed below the ledge
Soon after starting
the return journey
The northern side,
by now in full sunlight

Picos di Europa – June 2013

Spring was very late, the snow-line low, and the skies mostly overcast. So we have only a few shots. We did 5 walks in 6 days (then touristed in the Basque country on the way to the Ossau). The biggest walks were 960m up the Bulnes Gorge and 1000m down from Fuenté Dé.

On Robas, above Cares gorge,
E of Arenas de Cabrales ...
... and looking back
W to Arenas
The Uriellu path on
an atmospheric day ...
... back to the deserted
village, Invernales
Behind Fuenté Dé,
sthn side of the Picos ...
... and lower, cow-sheds
Going up Bulnes Gorge ...
... Further up ...
... Looking back down to
the Garganta del Cares ...
... The isolated
village of Bulnes ...
... Above the village ...
... Looking down to Bulnes
from the Uriellu walk

Ossau – June 2013

The Ossau is a striking valley west of the Central Pyrenees. This was only our second visit, and hopefully not our last. We did two walks. The particular magic this time was that the spring was so late that we saw daffodils, and in quantity by number, and even by species.

The start of the walk
with the Pic du Midi
Up into Linda's
Valley of the Flowers
The first
Wordsworth Moment
Daffodils even
on the hillside
Up another level
... to more daffodils
Looking towards the
snow-covered top path
Looking back to the
Pic du Midi di Ossau ...
... which we'd walked around
Valiantly leading
o'er the flooding stream
The other side, and
still daffodils everywhere
Daffodil portrait
Next morning, above
our village of Bilheres
The upper valley
south of Ossau
close to Spain
Forest and waterfall
on the way up
a side-valley
Look on my works,
ye mighty,
and despair
Corydalis and view
Linda again in
daffodil heaven
ssp Nobilis
(Noble self-admiring lady?)
Oh yes, and again
the Pic du Midi di Ossau,
from the other side
D and PdM Portrait
The view East,
back down our valley
Including, um
But also some
And a rock-protected
hut on an avalanche-line

Triglav Region – June 2013

Debela Pec is a 2000m peak at the northern end of a ridge running north from Triglav, due east of Bled. It's a long-half-day walk from one of several obscure locations in the forest near Planina Javornik. We've spent years trying to find a walk that's as good as this and that has the chance of a good view of Triglav at the end of it (cloud permitting). Andreja Pucihar put us onto it.

To start with, a
rise through a forest
(Kifer and Tanne?)
After 2 hours, Triglav
appears, 1000m above us.
2 years earlier, we'd walked
up onto Male Triglav (left),
along the skyline,
40m down, and 180m up
to the top of Triglav. It looks
almost as scary from here
First view of the
last push up to Debela Pec,
with Pinus mugo
Triglav again (2850m),
with Rjavina (2532m)
to the right
The view E towards Bled
E, full telephoto,
with Hotel Toplice
just left of centre
SE, to Planina Javornik,
where the car was parked
N, down the Krma Valley
to the Karawanken,
last bastion of the Alps
What the well-equipped walker ...
... does these days ...
... is turn their back on Triglav ...
... and natter with the kids
Various shots ...
... of the path ...
... and the refuge at ...
... Koca Lipanci

Kitzbuehel – June 2013

A glorious week's walking, on the Kitzbueheler Horn, beneath the Wilder Kaiser, along the ridge behind the Hahnenkamm as far as the Schwarzkogel, back and down the Hahnenkamm (a long day), from Pass Thurn up and along the Panoramaweg to Zweitausender, and a final quick half-day up to Blue Lake.

From the Kitzbueheler Horn,
WSW over Schwarzsee
and Kirchberg ...
... WNW towards
the Wilder Kaiser ...
... Linda in heaven, at
the Alpenblumengarten
beneath the
Kitzbueheler Horn ...
... and down near Kitzbuehel,
looking S to Pass Thurn
and the Hohe Tauern
Going up the southern face
of the Wilder Kaiser ...
... South to Kitzbuehel ...
... the crags above ...
... a beer looking north
to the walk we'd just done
Up on the Hahnenkamm
at the start of the race ...
... looking NE to the Horn
and Steinernes Meer ...
... along the ridge,
looking back NE ...
... target for the day, the
Schwarkogel (2000m)
... lunching on top ...
... the return walk,
looking at the Wilder Kaiser ...
... a beer back at the
From the Panoramaweg
south over Mittersill
to the Grosser Venedig
from our balcony
A bonus walk to
the Blue Lake ...
... which is small and,
well, blue ...
... and close to

The Orkneys – June 2013

A dull, cool, slightly moist week, even though it included the solstice, i.e. 'normal for the time of year'. Not as thrilling visually as the previous week in Kitzbuehel, but as it turned out there were more publication-worthy photos than we expected.

Low cliffs, southern
end of Mainland
Rock-shelves, typical of
much of the Orkney islands
Ring of Brodgar
central Mainland
Skara Brae,
beside the sea
Brough of Birsay,
low-tide, so fordable ...
... Cliffs, fulmars, thrift ...
... Cliffs, sea-birds ...
... only two puffins
and a guillemot,
after a very tough winter ...
... and still more ...
... cliffs and birds
Leaving the quay at
Stromness, for Hoy ...
Rackwick, on the
far side of Hoy
... an hour later,
first view of ...
... the Old Man of Hoy ...
... unusually, with two
climbers on top ...
... and two climbers
half-way up ...
... the adjacent cliffs
were more striking
than the stack ...
... closer up ...
... immediately adjacent ...
.. and cropped
... over the high moor
looking back to Rackwick ...
... Hardwick, Britain's
most northerly forest ...
... viewed from ...
... three different directions
Tiny Tingwall wharf,
for the ferry to Rousay ...
... rock-shelves
at Midhowe ...
... yet another
quite remarkable
neolithic site ...
... and another,
back on Mainland,
again beside the sea
looking across at Rousay

This is a page within the Clarke-Spinaze Photo Gallery, home-page here

Contact: Linda or Roger

Created: 15 July 2013; Last Amended: 26 July 2013