The Pyrenees

The High Pyrenees from the Cirque de Lescun to the Carlit Massif

By Kev Reynolds

A resource book covering the finest walks, treks and climbs in the High Pyrenees for 400km between France and Spain, from the Cirque de Lescun, on the edge of the Basque country in the west, to the Carlit massif and the Cerdagne to the east of Andorra. It is the first in our World Mountain Ranges series.



Describes year-round activities - walking, trekking, climbing plus winter climbs, ski tours.


Outlines all the valleys and possible centres for exploring the High Pyrennes. If it's not here, it's not there (umm)...


Not a pure routes book, this Mountain Range Guide includes every mountain activity at every possible level. Something for everyone - a true compendium.
Must See

Must See

Cirque de Lescun, Cirque de Gavarnie, Ordesa Canyon, Pineta Canyon... and these only scratch the surface of the opportunities in the Pyrenees
1 Apr 2004
20 Oct 2010
21.6 x 13.8 x 2.7cm
  • Overview

    The guide describes the High Pyrenees from the Cirque de Lescun in the west to the Carlit massif and Cerdagne east of Andorra, in five regional chapters.

    The guide contains:

    • Valley-by-valley descriptions of range, its facilities and infrastructure
    • Information on the best mountaineering, walking and climbing opportunities in the area
    • Summaries of long-distance through-routes and treks
    • Accommodation, camping, refuges and travel details
    • Extensive introductory materials on the region, climate, geology, structure, towns, villages, access, best regions
    • History and background of the great explorations, with profiles of the pioneers and personalities of each range
    • A full listing of all the Pyrenean 3000m summits and their location
    • Detailed sketch maps and excellent colour photographs.
  • Contents

    About this Book

    When to Go
    Getting There
    Travel within the Pyrenees
    Maps and Guidebooks
    Health Considerations

    The Mountains
    The Pyrenees – Coast to Coast
    National Parks
    Mountain Activities
        Winter Climbing
        A Potted History of Pyrénéisme
    The 3000m Summits
    Information at a Glance

    CHAPTER 1: The Western Valleys
    1:1 Vallée d’Aspe
    1:2 The Cirque de Lescun
    1:3 Upper Vallée d’Aspe
    1:4 Valle del Aragón (Valle de Canfranc)
    1:5 Valle de Echo
    1:6 Valle de Ansó
    1:7 Vallée d’Ossau
    1:8 Vallée du Valentin
    1:9 The Upper Vallée d’Ossau
    1:10 Valle de Tena
    Access, Bases, Maps and Guides

    CHAPTER 2: Cirques and Canyons
    2:1 Vallée du Gave de Pau
    2:2 Vallée d’Estaing
    2:3 Vallée d’Arrens
    2:4 Vallée de Cauterets
    2:5 Vallée du Marcadau
    2:6 Vallée de Gaube
    2:7 Vallée de Lutour
    2:8 Vallée de Bastan
    2:9 In and around the Néouvielle reserve
    2:10 Vallée de Héas
    2:11 Cirque de Gavarnie
    2:12 Valle del Ara
    2:13 Valle de Ordesa
    2:14 Valle de Añisclo
    2:15 Valle de Tella
    2:16 Valle de Pineta
    2:17 Valle de Barrosa
    Access, Bases, Maps and Guides

    CHAPTER 3: The Central Pyrenees
    3:1 Vallée d’Aure
    3:2 Vallée du Louron
    3:3 Vallée d’Oô
    3:4 Vallée de la Pique
    3:5 Valle de Gistaín
    3:6 Valle del Ésera
    3:7 Valle de Eriste
    3:8 Valle de Estós
    3:9 Vallhiverna
    3:10 Upper Ésera
    Access, Bases, Maps and Guides

    CHAPTER 4: Enchanted Mountains
    4:1 Pays de Couserans
    4:2 Vallée du Biros
    4:3 Vallée de Bethmale
    4:4 Upper Vallée du Salat
    4:5 Vallée d’Ustou
    4:6 Vallée du Garbet
    4:7 Vall d’Aran
    4:8 Vall Noguera Ribagorçana
    4:9 Vall de Boí
    4:10 Vall Fosca
    4:11 Vall d’Espot
    4:12 Vall d’Àneu
    4:13 Vall de Cardós
    4:14 Vall Ferrera
    Access, Bases, Maps and Guides

    CHAPTER 5: Andorra and the Eastern High Pyrenees
    5:1 Vallée du Vicdessos
    5:2 Haute Vallée de l’Ariège
    5:3 Andorra
    5:4 Vallée d’Orlu
    5:5 The Carlit Massif
    5:6 The Cerdagne
    5:7 Vall de Núria
    Access, Bases, Maps and Guides

    APPENDIX A: A Pyrenean Glossary
    APPENDIX B: Index of Pyrenean Valleys – West to East
    APPENDIX C: Index of Maps


  • Maps

    IGN TOP 25 1:25,000. Sheets: 1547OT, 1647OT, 1748OT, 1748ET, 1847OT, 1848OT, 1947OT, 2047OT, 2048OT, 2047ET, 2148OT, 2148ET, 2249OT, 2249ET, 2250ET

    Carte de Randonnées 1:50,000. Sheets: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

    Editorial Alpina: Anso-Echo 1:40,000; Candanchu Canfranc, Pena Telera, Sierra de Tendenera and Penticosa Formigal - each at 1;25,000

    Editorial Alpina: Vignemale Bujaruelo, 1:30,000, and Ordesa y Monte Perdido, 1:40,000

    Editorial Pirineo: Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park at 1:40,000

    Editorial Alpina: Bachimala, Cotiella, Posets, Maladeta Aneto, El Turbon and La Ribagorca all at 1:25,000

    Editorial Alpina: Val d’Aran 1:40,000, La Ribagorca 1:25,000, Pont de Suert 1:40,000, Vall de Boi 1:25,000, Montsent de Pallars 1:25,000, Sant Maurici 1:25,000, Montgarri Mont Valier 1:25,000, Pica de Estats 1:40,000

    M.I. Govern: Andorra 1:50,000 and 1:25,000

    Editorial Alpina: Cerdanya at 1:50,000 and Serra del Cadi/Pedraforca at 1:25,000

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction
    We do not yet have any updates available for this book

    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    ‘Climbing and walking in the Pyrenees has never looked so tempting. … This really is a comprehensive, well presented guide; the maps, photographs, informed writing, historical asides and emergency advice create a handbook that you would be foolish to leave for the Pyrenees without.’

    (French magazine)

    ‘Who better to choose than Kev Reynolds to write the guide to the Pyrenees, for it seems unlikely that anyone else in the UK has one tenth his knowledge or experience of this extensive mountainous region. … Reynolds breaks the 400km-long range into five sectors as he travels east towards the Mediterranean. … The appetite is certainly wetted by numerous well-reproduced colour photos, complemented by nearly 30, clearly-presented sketch maps. … What this out-and-out brick [of a book] does is first to inspire and then give enough relevant information to make an enlightened decision. In this respect it is excellent, as too is the detailed practical advice in the introduction and each mountain section, which will thoroughly prepare you to reach your chosen goal.’

    (Lindsay Griffin, High)

    ‘The first of Cicerone’s new World Mountain Ranges series … is both comprehensive and a joy to read. Kev Reynolds is one of the UK’s greatest mountain enthusiasts and that enthusiasm bubbles over on every page. If the other books in this new series come up to the standard Kev has set with this guide to the Pyrenees then Cicerone will be on to a winner and we will all benefit.’

    (Cameron McNeish, TGO)

    ‘The author is a well-known guidebook writer and an acknowledged expert on the Pyrenees. … This book packs into its 464 pages all you could wish to know for walking and climbing in the High Pyrenees, and it is copiously illustrated throughout. … A must for anyone with an interest in the area.’

    (Alpine Journal, 2005)

    'There’s something about the Pyrenees that I find utterly compelling. Perhaps it’s the fact that these glorious mountains form a frontier between nations, cultures and even climate. Vast stretches of the mountain chain are unspoilt wilderness and explorers are well rewarded with solitude and a sense of remoteness. Best of all, the range has not yet suffered the atrocities of the downhill skiing business. I sincerely hope it never will.
        I’ve long cherished an ambition to walk the entire length of the Pyrenees, on either the GR10, on the French side of the chain, or the GR11 on the Spanish side, and dipping into this new book by Kev Reynolds has ignited that smouldering plan once again. All I need now is three months off work….
        The new guide, the first of Cicerone’s new World Mountain Ranges series covers the 400km High Pyrenees from the Cirque de Lescun in the west to the Carlit massif to the east of Andorra and offers a fund of information on all the best locations for walking, trekking, climbing and mountaineering.
        Familiar names like Ordesa, Gavarnie, Vignemale and Perdido are interspersed between not so familiar names, lesser-known gems like the Reserve Naturelle de Neouvielle or the incredible canyon of Anisclo in Aragon. Add to that all the practical information required for the independent mountain traveller – facilities, accommodation, supply points and information on the Pyrenean mountain hut network, clear maps and you have a guidebook that is both comprehensive and a joy to read.
        Kev Reynolds is one of the UKs greatest mountain enthusiasts and that enthusiasm bubbles over on every page. If the other books in this new series come up to the standard Kev has set with this guide to the Pyrenees then Cicerone will be on to a winner and we will all benefit.'

    (Cameron McNeish, TGO October 2004)

    'This is the launch issue of a new series covering the World Mountain Ranges. The guide covers the 400km area of the High Pyrenees from the Cirque de Lescun in the west to the Carlit massif to the east of Andorra. It is an area that includes deep canyons, rugged granite peaks, limestone pavements, turbulent rivers, secluded glens and lush meadows, which makes it an ideal destination for a mountain explorer.
        This new series marks a change to the traditional guidebook one comes to expect from Cicerone in that each book provides comprehensive information not only for mountaineers and climbers but also for walkers and trekkers. This particular book is sub-divided into five chapters and an eighty page introduction. The latter includes practical information as to when to go, how to get there, travel facilities within the area, health considerations, weather, maps and guidebooks and accommodation details. The five chapters cover (a) the Western Valleys, (b) Cirques and Canyons, (c) The Central Pyrenees, (d) Enchanted Mountains and (e) Andorra and the Eastern High Pyrenees.
        The book contains sketch maps of the individual areas and all the photographs, some of which show some spectacular scenery, are in full colour.
        If you are thinking of walking or trekking in the Pyrenees this must be as close to being a definitive guide as you can get, the author is reputed to be an acknowledged authority on the region and with 25 years experience of the area behind him (it was 25 years ago that he wrote his ‘Walks and Climbs in the Pyrenees’ for Cicerone) it clearly shows in this book. It comes well recommended.'

    (Les Maple, Strider August 2004)

    Anybody who gets this book for Christmas, is very lucky indeed. It is quite an exceptional book on the Pyrenees, and one of the most authoritative books in English on a mountain region. Too heavy to pick up, too good to put down.

    The Aitchison-Jones Walker's Handbook 2007

  • Other eBook Retailers

    Google Play

    Google Play Books available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Google Play


    Kobo eReader devices plus Kobo App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS



    Kindle Reader devices plus Kindle App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

  • Downloads

Kev Reynolds

A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, photography and lecturing.

Claiming to be The Man with the World's Best Job, he has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing over 50 books, including guides to five major trekking regions of Nepal, and to numerous routes in the European Alps and Pyrenees, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds.

View Articles and Books by Kev Reynolds