Difficulty: medium. The Cuello Alto de Brazato could be covered in snow until July. If you walk this stage at the beginning of summer or at the end of May, when snow reaches Brazato reservoir, the use of an ice axe will be necessary to take on the ascent above the reservoir. In summer, the highest point of the stage follows rocky terrain, making it a little awkward. The route is well waymarked.
Suggestions: If you are walking this stage in the opposite direction, there is a way of avoiding the descent to Panticosa spa, by heading to Bachimaña shelter instead, along an almost horizontal path (marked with cairns all the way) that for a while follows a section of water pipe coming from Brazato reservoir. Along the way, you walk through a couple of tunnels, the longest of which is 30m long, but there is no need for a torch.
(0h0min; 0 kms) Balneario de Panticosa (1638m) The GR11 begins on the south-east side of the baths, between the new spa building and "Casa Belio", where there is a series of steps. You will recognize the spot thanks to a large sign on the wall of a nearby building that reads: "Restaurante La Fontana". A few minutes after leaving the spa you will reach a crossing. The path on the left comes from the Bachimaña lakes and doesn’t reach the baths a few metres below, and the one you take, the right-hand one, zigzags up on stony ground through the pine trees (here you can enjoy the great views over Garmo Negro and the Picos del Infierno). At around 2,200 metres’ altitude you reach open fields crossed by a water pipe coming from Brazato reservoir (see the suggestion section). Cross it and keep walking up the left-hand flank.
(2h00min; 4,8 kms) Embalse de Brazato (2380m). From the reservoir dam, you can make out a path that climbs up the northern side of the reservoir, which can be a tricky section if there is snow. Take this path and by walking in zigzags, you will gain height. Brazato reservoir appears further and further below as you climb, until at the end of the ascent, the Ibones Altos del Brazato lakes appear on your left. You can see Brazato col on your right, and that is where you are headed, while crossing an awkward section of scree half-way up the slope.
(2h40min; 6,1 kms) Cuello Alto de Brazato (2566m). It is well worth taking a long breather to take in the stunning views: to the west, the deep valley of the River Ara and the imposing Vignemale. To the north the path leaves behind the rocky peaks of the Batanes and descends through rough terrain, between boulders, along the ravine of the same name, skirting the Batáns lakes. At the point where the ravine meets the waters from the River Ara, you join a variant of the GR11 – unmarked – that runs directly from Bachimala to los Batanes.
There still remains a long descent from here, following the waters of the River Ara, along a path that winds across fields, at the foot of the Vignemale massif. The path passes a cabin (Zerbillonar or Labaza shelter) and keeps going for another hour until you reach a track where there is another one in better condition.
(6h15min; 16,3 kms) Cabaña del vado de Ordiso (1580m). From this point the track continues along the left-hand side of the river, until it brings you to the medieval bridge of Bujaruelo, You have reached...
(7h20min; 21,0 kms) San Nicolás de Bujaruelo (1338m). Auberge.
During the stage there are several cabins: Zerbillonar or Labaza shelter (acceptable condition, 6 people) and vado de Ordiso shelter (acceptable).
At the end of the stage, the Refugio de Bujaruelo (//) , (64 beds in rooms for 2, 4 or 8) has a restaurant, a café, camping facilities and food all day long. Three kilometres down the road, following the track coming from Puente de los Navarros you will find the Valle de Bujaruelo campsite (//) . As well as an area for camping, it has chalets, a shelter, a bar-restaurant plus a small supermarket.Other services:
The Valle de Bujaruelo campsite has its own supermarket.Transport:
There are no bus services to the Balneario de Panticosa. The nearest option is the village of Panticosa which is 7.3kms away. From there, there are regular bus services to and from Sabiñanigo and Jaca with the company Alosa.
Bujaruelo is accessible by car via a track (6kms from Puente de los Navarros). Further information on access to the Ordesa valley is given in the next stage.
|- Prologue: Cabo Higuer - Hondarribia - Irun|
|- Stage 1: Cabo Higuer - Bera|
|- Stage 1v (GR 11.3): Cabo Higuer - Lesaka|
|- Stage 2: Bera - Elizondo|
|- Stage 2v (GR 11.3): Lesaka - Elizondo (Spanish)|
|- Stage 3: Elizondo - Pto de Urkiaga|
|- Stage 4: Puerto de Urkiaga - Burguete|
|- Stage 5: Burguete/Auritz - Villanueva de Aezcoa/Hiriberri (Spanish)|
|Stage 6: Villanueva de Aezcoa/Hiriberri - Ochagavia (Spanish)|
|Stage 7: Ochagavia - Isaba (Spanish)|
|Stage 8: Isaba - Zuriza (via Belabarce)|
|Stage 8v (GR 11.4): Isaba - Zuriza (via Ezkaurre)|
|Stage 9: Zuriza - Aguas Tuertas|
|Stage 10: Aguas Tuertas - Lizara|
|Stage 10 (discontinued): Aguas Tuertas - Candanchú|
|Stage 11: Lizara - Candanchú|
|Stage 12: Candanchú - Sallent de Gallego|
|Stage 9v (GR 11.1): Zuriza - Puente de Santa Ana|
|Stage 10v (GR 11.1): Puente de Santa Ana - Lizara|
|Stage 11v (GR 11.1): Lizara - Canfranc Estación|
|Stage 12v: Canfranc Estación - Sallent de Gallego (via C.Izas)|
|Stage 13: Sallent de Gallego - Refugio de Respomuso|
|Stage 14: Refugio de Respomuso - Balneario de Panticosa|
|Stage 15: Balneario de Panticosa - San Nicolas de Bujaruelo|
|Stage 16: San Nicolas de Bujaruelo - Refugio de Goriz|
|Stage 17: Refugio de Goriz - Circo de Pineta|
|Stage 18: Circo de Pineta - Parzán|
|Stage 19: Parzán - Biadós|
|Stage 20: Biadós - Puente de San Jaime (Spanish)|
|Stage 21: Puente de San Jaime - Refugio de Cap de Llauset (Spanish)|
|Stage 22: Ref. Cap de LLauset - Conangles|
|Stage 23: Conangles - La Restanca|
|Stage 24v (GR11.18): La Restanca - Colomers|
|Stage 25: Colomers - Ernest Mallafré|
|Stage 26: Ernest Mallafré - La Guingueta|
|Stage 27: La Guingueta - Estaón|
|Stage 28: Estaón - Tavascán|
|Stage 29: Tavascán - Areu|
|Stage 30: Areu - Baiau|
|Stage 31: Baiau - Arans|
|Stage 32: Arans - Encamp|
|Stage 33: Encamp - Ref. l'Illa|
|Stage 34: Ref. l'Illa - Malniu|
|Stage 35: Malniu - Puigcerdá|
|Stage 36: Puigcerdá - Planoles|
|Stage 37: Planoles - Santuario de Nuria|
|Stage 38: Santuario de Nuria - Refugio de Ulldeter|
|Stage 39: Refugio de Ulldeter - Molló|
|Stage 40: Molló - Talaixà|
|Stage 41: Talaixà - Albanyà|
|Stage 42: Albanyà - La Vajol|
|Stage 43: La Vajol - Requessens|
|Stage 44: Requessens - Vilamaniscle|
|Stage 45: Vilamaniscle - El Port de la Selva|
|Stage 46: El Port de la Selva - Cap de Creus|