The Big Smile Adventures Fast Packing Tour du Peric is a two-day trip that incapsulates the full essence of a Fast-Packing trip.
This is an outstanding circular route that lays between the Pyrenees Orientales and the Haute-Ariege here in the South of France and could almost be labelled a tour of the lakes as we traverse alongside so many mountain lakes ranging from small to large on this two-day journey. The Peric Massif rises to a heady height of 2810 meters above sea level and sits on both sides of the watershed between the med and the Atlantic. Steep cols, big boulder areas, large green open plateaus and beautiful old forests keep you inspired and your camera close to end.
This trip is rated hard, the terrain can be tough, and the weather can change rapidly here. Serviced by four manned mountain refuges we can buy coffee and cake as we go. This is usually a four-day hiking trip staying in each of the refuges and we do offer that option as a purely hiking trip, but this is our Fastpacking version of two days.
We have two options available to us for sleeping at the end of the first night. We can bivouac out, carrying all our cooking and sleeping equipment, plus food. Or we can stay in the manned Refuge des Bésines sitting at 2104 meters above sea level. We would stay here on a Demi pension arrangement which means a dormitory bed, dinner and breakfast the next day. It keeps the weight down in our packs but will incur extra costs. The costs for each option will be listed below.
This two-day trip is incredibly diverse in its landscape & wildlife and is one of the most beautiful areas of the Pyrenees in our opinion.
Refuge & Lac Brouillouses – Refuge des Bésines (or bivouacking in the same area)
Distance : 31.89 km Ascent : 2114 mtrs Descent : 2061 mtrs
Taking the bus from the parking where we will be running back to the next day, we arrive at the Lac Brouillouses to grab an early coffee and then we start back down the road for 5 mins before we turn left and start heading uphill. Today there is a lot of uphill and infact we are doing the route in reverse as we get the biggest of the climbs and the technical terrain completed today and it is easier going up the terrain instead of down and we can keep a better rhythm to the day this way.
If we are wild camping/Bivouacking there are plenty of options not too far from the refuge where we can find a quite spot and water source.
Refuge de Bésines – Parking Mérens-Les Vals
Distance : 30.51 km’s Ascent : 1029 mtrs Descent : 1360 mtrs
Today we start off by climbing through forests and grassy plateau areas before we arrive at the Portella de la Grave at 2426 mtrs. Here we continue to follow the GR10 down through beautiful river fed valleys where wild horses roam and play. The trails through theses valleys are an absolute delight to run and speed hike along and finally they bring us to the head of Lac des Bousillouses where we continue to traverse along the western flank of the Lac. Traversing across beautifully forest trails we arrive at the Barrage (Dam) of the Lake where we started yesterday morning.
We can stop at the refuge for an early lunch before re-taking the GR10 trail and running/Speed hiking all the way back to the Carpark where we took the bus from.
This Two day Fast packing adventure is run as a stand alone trip or as part of our Fastpacking the Pyrenees Orientales double whammy which includes Fastpacking the Tour du Canigou over three days, making it a full one week of Fast packing Adventure.