While on holiday in the South of France, I drove to the Pyrenees to try and climb the summit of Puig Carlit. At 2921m, Puig Carlit is not one of the major summits of the Pyrenees mountain chain (the highest is Pico d’Aneto at 3404m) but it is the highest in this particular region.
I started the walk at Lac des Bouillouses near the mountain village of Mont-Louis, which is already at the quite high elevation of 2020m. The walk from here to Puig Carlit is along a pleasant route amongst fir trees and lakes, and is very popular – I had to engage in conversation with quite a few groups of walkers using my awful French.
The weather was excellent with blue skies and not too warm, but when I got closer to Puig Carlit, I saw that the snow cover from the winter was still pretty extensive and as I got to a height of about 2400m on the east of the mountain, I could see that the steep snow slopes were too much of a risk to attempt without winter gear. No other walker was attempting it either, most of them were just there for the easier hike around the lakes.
So this was yet another June summit attempt thwarted by snow (Mount Whitney in the US in 2005 and Pyramid Mountain in Canada in 2007 were just the same) – maybe I should stop attempting high summits in June!
Despite not getting to the top of Puig Carlit, I still had excellent views, particularly of the eastern Pyrenees and Canigou, which is a very impressive peak visible from the entire region.
You can see photos from this walk on my website here.