Posts Tagged ‘Canigou’

Rewilding: with sheep, by hunters

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Mouflon. The principal distinguishing characteristic of the male mouflon is its long, curved horns (in females the horns are absent or smaller) © Laurence Terminet


The sheep isn’t the first species that comes to mind when I think of ‘rewilding’. It seems unlikely that the idea of rewilding with sheep will warm George Monbiot’s heart ?, given his views on the animal’s ecological hoofprint. But an ancient variety of sheep, the mouflon, present in the French Pyrenees in the Pleistocene, has been reintroduced: by hunters who were not in the least interested in the idea of rewilding. Indeed, they started the project in 1957 before the term ‘rewilding’ even existed. Yet, if there were more mouflons, they could become a food resource for the more charismatic brown bears and wolves currently preying on domestic flocks. Even shepherds – traditionally opponents of rewilding – might find some solace. (more…)

Canigó webcam now working

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

The Cortelets hostel webcam is now working and will be online until mid-Octobre.

The webcam is aimed at the summit (2784m). Screen-shot on 26 mai 2018

The webcam is aimed at the summit (2784m). Screenshot, 26 mai 2018

There seems to be a lot of snow on the ridge leading to the summit.

Crying wolf?

Monday, December 11th, 2017
Wolves in the Maison des Loup, Orlu, Ariège

Wolves in the Maison des Loups, Orlu, Ariège


Are too many wolves being culled in France? Or not enough? Ecological associations here are taking the government to court, demanding that it changes its policy on culling. Up to 36 can be killed each year if they repeatedly attack sheep. The associations want the government to take the (relatively low) total wolf population into account and reduce the number of wolves killed. But, as a recent demonstration showed, some farmers in the Pyrenees are unhappy about predators and don’t want any more. (more…)

Access to Canigó to be restricted?

Saturday, November 18th, 2017
Canigó summit: often crowded

Canigó summit: often crowded


The authorities are considering limiting access to Catalonia’s favourite mountain. This has practical implications (details below) but it also heralds the start of a new chapter in the way we perceive Canigó and the Pyrenees in general.

Initially remote, wild and dangerous, Canigó has become a Catalan emblem – frequently nicknamed la montagne sacrée [sacred mountain] des Catalans. It has been exploited for minerals and wood, and narrowly escaped some of the worst ravages of mass tourism. Now it seems to be heading for a quieter life.



21 May: Canigou now accessible without crampons

Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Canigou as seen from above Ria, where I was walking today. The snow on the western face is clearly visible, as is the ridge which runs from the Porteille to the summit.

Canigou as seen from above Ria, where I was walking today. The snow on the western face is clearly visible, as is the ridge which runs from the Porteille to the summit.

Information from the Facebook page of the Cortalets Refuge updated by Thomas Dulac, the manager of the refuge, who climbed up to the summit today Sunday 21 May 2017.

From the Cortalets, no snow until you get to the fontaine de la Perdrix but the west side of the peak (Vernet)  is covered in snow. It is possible to climb the ridge which goes  directly from the Porteille to the summit (easy rock climbing) with classic mountain walking boots.

It is also appears to be possible to climb to the summit from the Cortalets via the Barbet, Porteille de Valmanya and the Cheminée, without crampons (not checked).

From Mariailles, no need for crampons (no snow on the Cheminéee).

map of GR10

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