TereseHello and thank you so much for this amazing site! It has a lot of good information on the GR-11 that I haven\'t been able to find anywhere else. I have just recently started reading about the GR-11 and I want to find out as much as possible before I decide to give it a try. I would be thankful if you could answer these questions for me (you can answer me in Spanish, I do understand some but can\'t speak it myself!): 1. How difficult is it really? Do you have to be very experienced in hiking if you do it during summer when the weather should be fine? 2. Is it allowed to set up your tent pretty much anywhere? From the reading on this site, I understand it shouldn\'t be difficult to find somewhere to sleep but just in case it\'s good to know if I can set up my tent, plus this reduces the cost of the whole trip. 3. Should I expect bad and cold weather during summer? I\'m thinking about what kind of clothes and jacket I should bring. 4. Some say that you need to carry food and water for several days. Some also advise to bring water purifiers. Is this really necessary or is it mostly for people who camp out most of the time? How far apart is it from places where you can supply yourself with food and drink?
Travesia PirenaicaHello Terese, I don't remember the last day I practiced my English but I'll try.
I think, the main difficulty of the route is the accumulated fatigue. You have to be accustomed to walk and you should to have a minimum of experience in walking in places like this. Steep slopes, differences of 1000m, rocky terrain, find the path when the signal is sparse ...
The issue of free camping is confuse. There isn't a statewide regulation. The competencies are transferred to the autonomous communities and moreover there's the issue of natural parks that have their own regulation. I have researched a bit on the internet and I have found this page with better explanations about this chaos.
It is not unusual to see snow in summer above 2000 meters but this is not the normal weather you expect to find. In summer the temperature usually is pleasant and there usuallay are several days of good followed weather. However, you should to be attentive to the changing weather. It's common afternoon thunderstorms. On the north slope and in the Atlantic area fog is quite usual so the temperature and the humidity cause a major feeling of cold. It may be sufficient with a shirt, a sweater and a rain jacket .
Bring water purifiers is a good idea. Find water is fairly easy. I usually bring a bottle of 1.5l and it usually lasts until the next source. You won't have to carry with food for more than two days in general. Probably, the biggest problem is between Parzán (step 17) and Espot (step 24) where the GR11 don't find any villages althoug it cross two roads (possibility to do autostop) and there are several shelters where food is served and where packed lunches are prepared./******************************/
Pienso que la principal dificultad de la ruta es el cansancio acumulado. Tienes que ser una persona acostumbrada a caminar y tener un mínimo de experiencia en caminar por sitios como éste. Bajadas empinadas, desniveles de 1000m, terrenos pedregosos, encontrar la senda cuando la señalización es escasa...
El tema de la acampada libre es algo bastante confuso. No hay una regulación a nivel estatal. Las competencias están transferidas a las comunidades autónomas pero además está el tema de los parques naturales que tienen su propia regulación. He indagado un poco en internet y he encontrado esta página dónde se explica mucho mejor este caos.
No es extraño ver nevar en pleno verano por encima de los 2000 metros aunque no es lo habitual. En verano la temperatura suele ser agradable y habitualmente hay varios dias seguidos de buen tiempo. Habrá que estar atentos al tiempo cambiante. Es habitual la formación de tormentas por las tardes. En la vertiente norte y en la parte más atlántica suele agarrarse la niebla, así que las temperaturas y la humedad provocan una sensación de frío importante. Puede ser suficiente con una camiseta, un jersey y la chaqueta impermeable.
LLevar pastillas potabilizadoras es una buena idea. Encontrar agua es bastante fácil. Yo suelo llevar una botella de 1.5l, suele durar sin problemas hasta la siguiente fuente. Normalmente tampoco hay que cargar con comida para más de dos dias. Seguramente el mayor problema esté entre Parzán (etapa 17) y Espot (etapa 24) dónde no se pasa por ningún pueblo, aunque sí por dos carreteras (posibilidad de hacer autostop a algún pueblo cercano) y por varios refugios en los que se sirve comida y se preparan bolsas de picnic.
TereseThank you so much for your answer! It is really quite difficult getting a sense of a place when you\'ve never been in the area, but I do feel more informed now. I will continue reading on the subject... I do have one more question however. Are the refugios that are listed on this site the only alternative for sleep in some parts of the route? Are there no free shelters or cheaper places to set up a tent? I\'m just trying to figure out how to make the trip cheaper...
Travesia PirenaicaHello, in each stage description you can find information about the free shelters which there are. Not all stages are described with the same level of detail and in some cases there are more shelters than we have indicated. In other cases, simply, there isn’t. Here, there are a couple of links where you’ll be able to find more information about free shelters. www.ign.es/iberpix2 if runs slow try with the previous version
From what I could understand in one of the links I put in the previous post, you can legally set up a tent in almost entire route. Besides campings, there are other places “camping controlled areas” how in Nuria Sanctuary but this is the exception.
TereseThank you so much again! It would probably have taken me quite some time to find those links on my own.