10 de des. 2004

Piada - Bigorra Traverse - 4 a 8/12/2004

Escrit per Peter C. i Manel C. Enviat per Jaume J

4th to 8th/12/2004 In alphabetical order: Berta, Carles, Jaume, JoanManel, Manel, Peter, Ricard and Roger.






Quina travessa!

...al final teniu la piada que ha escrit en Peter Collins, thanks!!! No patiu: en Manel ha promès una traducció adaptada...

5 dies entre la Mongie, Caderoles, Aygües Cluses, Bareges i el Neuouvielle, amb bon temps, dormint en refugis i cabanes:

1er dia, +85Om; Artigues-La Mongie 1.350m - Ref. Campana de Cloutou 2.225m

2on dia, +750m / -825m; "els tres colls" Hourquette de Caderolles 2.495m - Col de Gourguet 2.405m - Col d'Aumar 2.385m - Ref. d'Aubert 2.150m.

3er dia, +1.050m / -1.050m; Col d'Aubert 2.498m - Estany Negre 2.200m - Pic de Madamete 2.657m - Cabana d'Aygües Cluses 2.150m.

4rt dia, +1.00m / -925m; Col de Bareges 2.450m - Pic d'Aygües Cluses 2.620m - Cabana - Hourquette Nere 2.465m - Lac de Bastan - Hourquette de Caderolles 2.495m - Ref. Campana de Cloutou 2.225m.

5è dia, -850m; Descens a Artigues 1.350m.

Escrit de Peter C.
Had you been driving up the tortuous road which leads from Artigues to La Mongie at 12 ‘0’ clock on Wednesday 8th December 2004 you would have been greeted with a curious sight. You would have seen seven unshaven men and one young woman in the process of stripping to their underwear, rubbing themselves down with wet towels, getting dressed again and then engaging in exercises reminiscent of Tai Chi or Yoga. They would all have been distinguished by a look of manic glee in their eyes. Strange as it may appear, these were not members of some strange religious cult despite the ecstatic look on their faces; they were in fact members of the Club Excursionista de Gracia returning from their most recent ski tour through the Parc Naturelle de Neouvielle.

The expedition had begun in Barcelona the previous Friday and I, the sole English member of the Catalan group had driven up with Jaume, Berta and Roger to the Val d’Aran, whilst Ricard, Joan and Manel made their way separately. The group joined together and enjoyed Carles’ hospitality in Casarilh before heading off with him the next morning towards La Mongie. The drive through the foothills of the Pyrenees, though beautiful because of the autumnal trees that refused to accept the onset of winter, did not bode well. There was snow, but not much, in the mountains to the north. We wondered whether we would be able to make the traverse planned.

The tour proper started on a curve on the road which is used as a route for the Tour de France, a little bit further than Artigues, at about 1350m. We equipped ourselves with all we needed for five days and started on the first leg. Despite the weather forecast that had indicated poor weather, there were only a few clouds, which during the course of the afternoon dissolved, allowing the sun to push through. There was a group ahead but they seemed to be taking a different route to ours. Getting started again after a summer is always a challenge and this was no exception. Would all the equipment function correctly? Would the skins stick? Would the boots rub? Would my legs buckle under the weight of the sack? Would I understand anything they were saying in Catalan? All these worries dispersed as we got into the rhythm of the first ascent. We were headed towards the Refuge de Campana de Cloutou, a well equipped but unmanned refuge situated by the Lac du Campana at 2225m. The route, on foot to start with, through lack of snow, and then soon after on skis, winding its way past lakes and through pine woods, was an excellent introduction to the tour. Not too exhausting but not too easy either. Hard enough to make you feel you had accomplished something when you got there, but not so tiring that you couldn’t take in the magnificence of the mountains and the snow covered lakes rising terrace-like towards the peaks, a landscape not unlike the Aigues Tortes.

The hut, a simple tent-shaped structure, afforded us all we needed when we arrived in the late afternoon.
We had collected water from the river earlier and the wood-burning stove in the centre of the hut provided warmth. Our first attempt at catering with the selection of camping cookers gave us a selection of gourmet dishes ranging from fideua to spaghetti and I distinguished myself by overturning Manel’s campstove and throwing most of the contents of my pan over the table and over him. I still have a lot to learn.

We had been surprised by the fact that the group that was ahead of us had not arrived before us and we became increasingly perturbed by the fact that they were still not there well after dark. At 6ish they were spotted a short distance away, but it was not until 7 that they finally rolled in. It was only when they appeared that we could understand why they had taken so long. Their equipment was original for a mountain walk in December. No Gore-Tex, no map, no compass, no headlamp, no skis, no snow-shoes! They were wearing jeans, some had summer walking boots, and a few of them had gaiters. They had climbed the 800 metres from the road by foot! And this was not the only thing. They had brought with them all they needed to celebrate ‘reveillon.’ Rum cocktails, champagne, liqueur de prunes, cassoulet, chestnuts, a Discman with loudspeakers – the works. They were determined to have a good time and a good time they had – singing, laughing, telling jokes until exhausted they collapsed in heaps all round the hut. The following morning was an obstacle course as we climbed over the bodies scattered in the kitchen and around the tables.

Our route for day two was a long one, needing countless skin changes. Our destination was the refuge by the Lac d’Aubert and we had to cross a landscape over cols, on snow -covered lakes, and down pine-clad slopes to get there. The first climb took us to the Hourquette de Caderolles at 2495 metres. The ski down was our first descent of the trip and the mixture of ice and crust saw us taking our first few turns with care and the adrenalin rush which comes from the uncertainty of the legs after a summer’s rest. The weather was stupendous and the views of the wide open valley helped to remove the fear. The next couple of hours took us across more than one snow-covered lake and over fields of powder glinting in the sun. There isn’t a way to describe effect of sun on snow that isn’t a cliché. The snow sparkled like diamonds – dammit! We wound our way around the western edge of the valley over two more cols before reaching the col d’Aumar on the southern edge at 2381m and dropping past the Lac D’Aumar to our final destination, the chilly, high-roofed hut beside the Lac D’Aubert at 2418m. As we arrived, the sun was setting and we settled in for a long, freezing evening, watching the temperatures recorded on Ricard’s thermometer confirming the cold registering on our rapidly cooling feet. The condensation of our breath curled up, merging with the steam from the boiling water in the pots. Even Manel struggled to find humour in the surroundings and we all retired to the bunks when our feet could stand it no longer. I think I was wearing more layers of clothing than during the day!

We awoke to Jaume’s cries of ‘son las vuit’ and clung to our nests for as long as we could before struggling out and into the hut. The sun finally penetrated through the ice on the window, illuminating the word ‘Hola’ which some joker had traced in the ice the day before. Glad to be up and on our way again and in the morning sun, our route skirted around the eastern side of the lake, providing us with increasingly impressive views of Neouvielle, a trapezoid block soaring from the western edge of the lake. We could see the four members of a group from Avila retreating, insect-like from an attempt on the summit that they had started before the sun had risen. As we slid around to the north east of the lake to the Hourquette d’Aubert at 2498 we were rewarded with stunning views of a necklace of lakes dropping down the valley and the sheer mountain sides of the Posets in the far distance. A ski down the the Lac Nere followed and then a climb up to our first peak of the trip, the Pic de Madamete at 2657. We met a couple of Basques coming down at the col and we made the last 100 metres on foot. It was satisfying to have made our first ascent, and with the sky still blue, the evening’s hut visible in the valley below at the bottom of north facing slopes of enticing powder, and the 360 degree views of mountains we could enjoy it to the full.

The last of the sun’s rays were just climbing up the wall of the hut when we reached the Cabane d’Aygues Cluses at 2150m. Jaume had predicted that it would be the ‘pitjor’ of the four nights, a prospect that caused me some anxiety because it was difficult to imagine a more miserable hole than that of the previous night. The cabin was tiny, a raised platform covered with four roughly cut rectangles of foam to serve as bedding and a fireplace in the corner to provide warmth. We set off in two groups to collect wood and water and as night fell we retreated to the hut to cook and huddle around the fire. I don’t think anyone could have been untouched by the magic of the place. The fire we got going was huge and sent out waves of heat which filled the place and left a scent of pine cones. The socks hanging up to dry provided a Christmas note. The light of the fire, together with the few candles in bottles created a dance of yellow light and shade as we clambered over each other, preparing our dinner, trying not to upset the stoves. Ricard, the Ferran Adria of the mountains sat Buddha-like under the Estelada he had brought, sharing out his gourmet Pasta alla Putanesca whilst others chewed at embutidos and cheese. A steady stream of ( for me half-understood ) jokes emanated from the ever cheerful Manel, and when you went outside to pee and closed the door on the warmth behind you the cold and the number and brightness of stars in the winter sky quite simply took your breath away.

We awoke the following morning after a somewhat sleepless night. The enchantment was all very well but sardines had it easy compared to our sleeping arrangements and sardines don’t have to cope with the orchestra of snores, carefully timed and varied in volume to prevent you from screening them out. Perched precariously on the edge of the platform nearest the fire, with my knee dug into the concrete for balance, I couldn’t help thinking of the children’s song ‘There were eight in the bed and the little one said ‘roll over, roll over’ They all rolled over and one fell out, there were seven in the bed and the little one said ‘roll over, roll over’ etc etc etc.

We left our cooking things and spare clothing in the hut to pick up on our return and headed toward the Pic d’Aygues Cluses at 2620m. A straightforward climb to the col over a gently undulating bank took us through snow that promised well for the descent to follow. We abandoned ski poles and clung to rocks and our ice axes for the final climb to the peak along a worryingly sheer ridge. After enjoying a few moments on the peak we retreated due to the clouds massing in the south and the east and heading our way. We still had a long way to go to return to the cabin of the first night. The descent that had had our mouths watering on the way up lived up to its promise and we flew down yelping cries of delight and carving pigtails through the powder. Two cols later, the Hourquette Nere at 2465 and the Hourquette de Caderolles at 2495, a long valley traverse including a lake-crossing whose ice was far from certain, and a descent in the twilight and we were back at the Campana de Cloutou. By the last night we were becoming adept at the search for wood and we returned from the woods with our rucksacks full of branches and dead trees under our arms. The scene was set for a festive last night. The wood burning stove, carefully stoked by Manel, sent out heat to raise the temperature to over 20 degrees. It was only when we noticed that the escape pipe was turning red that we realised that we might have overdone it. Food was pooled and we could gorge on the remainsof our provisions, working our way steadily through the bars of chocolate and turron which Carles had saved for the last night. Manel provided a running description of the film apparently visible through the glass of the stove – something about a hero failing in the fight against a fire destroying a building, as far as my Catalan would let me understand!

And then it was the last day and the descent to the cars. A good six inches of snow had fallen during the night, concealing the rocks and the holes into which we crashed and tumbled and against which we scraped and scarred our skis. We were lucky to come away unscathed because the treachery of the hidden obstacles was added to by the consistency of the snow which resembled quick drying cement and made turning almost impossible at times. However the descent through the trees was beautiful and when at times the mountains appeared through the whiteness of the mist and you could see the peaks and the sharp blue beyond, it sent your spirits soaring. We arrived at the road drenched with sweat and threw off our clothes with immense relief. Five days away from warm running water has its consequences.

The trip back to Barcelona was broken by quite excellent meal at ‘Er Occitan’ in Bossost in the Val d’Aran. What a privilege to be cooked for and served after four nights of pasta cooked on a camp stove. We ate very well.


Is the best of the tour like this the delight you experience when it is over? Certainly I was immensely relieved to have made it and I am appreciating the comforts of home. I think however that it is for the richness and the completeness of the experience that we put ourselves through the experience again and again. It isn’t any one thing: It is not just the meditative state you enter when climbing up or the thrill of skiing down. It is not only the ecstasy of the mountains, or even the real camaraderie (and I think this tour will remain in my memory as one in which the group worked outstandingly well together, providing solid mutual support, so essential in the mountains) It isn’t just the satisfaction of doing something physical all day when our lives are normally so cerebral. It is the mix. And when you look back you forget the blisters and the exhaustion and the fear and when the next tour is advertised you say to yourself ‘OK – It’ll be fun’


Versió Zen, per Manel C.
Si els agents Malder i Scali haguessin conduït per la tortuosa carretera que ascendeix des de Artigues a la Mongie cap a les 12:00 del divendres 8 de desembre de 2004, haurien obert un nou “Expedient–X”:

Haurien vist 7 “tiarros” i una “tiarreta” arrancant-se una extra-capa de greix amb rasqueta entre el polartec-100 i el windstoper o gore, seguint amb un procés de “bany de fricció per osmosis amb estovalles humides marca babe....”.

Però el que més destaca de l’ escena es l’ èxtasi residual que il·lumina les pupil·les dels seus ulls.

Son maníacs ? Són membres d’ un culte estrany ? Que han experimentat ?

Bé.... Aquest podria ser un fragment de piada “estil-Manel”, però penso que seria embrutar la poètica piada d’en Peter. Tot i que d’ alguna manera em vaig comprometre a traduir la piada d’ en Peter, repto a que algú la tradueixi en lloc meu. Jo me l’he llegida uns cops i no soc prou valent ni tinc temps per fer-ho, i el meu vocabulari poètic en català no es prou complert.

L’ únic que faré i que em suggereix la “Piada d’ en Peter” es un intent de PIADA-ZEN que intenti donar una explicació a les vivències “místiques”experimentades en aquesta sortida o en d’ altres, a partir d’ alguns extractes Zen d’un llibre que recomano fermament a tothom:

“El Lleopard de las Neus” d’ un altre Peter, d’ en Peter Mathiessen.

És un diari on es recullen les experiències durant un trekking al Dolpo, Nepal, on barreja sensacions, coneixements de budisme, estats de la ment, vivències zen, costums tibetans, etc.....Simplement espero que aquestes sensacions poètiques Zen del Peter Mathiessen– no es el Peter de la piada - que potser us resultin una mica confuses, us ajudin o complementin les vostres vivències donat el cas, sense pretendre en cap moment donar una explicació als vostres estats mentals, emocions, sensacions o pensaments íntims. No incloc dades tècniques ni geogràfiques perquè ja ho ha fet el nostre Peter en la seva magnifica piada.

PIADA ZEN :

COMENCEM A FOQUEJAR ...........

Neu i silenci, immensitat blanca. La nostra traça s’ endinsa en el llac gelat. No hi ha ningú. Únicament la nostra solitud és advertida pels pics vibrants en roca i els cims escombrats pels vents. La quietud tot ho envolta. Flocs de neu que el vent s’ emporta.
- Perquè mai un floc de neu cau on no li correspon ?
- Perquè tots els pics estan nevats i aquell no ?
( Son Koans, tenen una resposta no-lógica, no val utilitzar la raó)

Aquestes immenses roquetats, intensifiquen el nostre sentiment de transitorietat e insignificança. No som res. Em deixo anar lleuger...., lleuger..... És la adherència, la sensació i el só de cada pas el que m’omple de vida. Soc part de les coses. L’opressió d’aquesta immensitat, explica la por a la impermanencia o la mort, el ànsia amb que consumim els grapats d’ experiència pura, present vital en que som vida, èxtasi, i en que la nostra solitud es dilueix en l’eternitat.

ASCENSIÓ
Llisquem a través de boira i núvols, respirem l’ aire enrarit de la altitud, lliscant sobre el gel relliscós i la neu. Per fi, a través del que semblava un pòrtic de núvols als camins del sol i la lluna, arribem al coll, totalment sense alè i quasi morts de fred. Té calent.

A LA CRESTA
Rellisca un peu, fracció de segon....Les agulles de la por em travessen el cor i les temples.... L’eternitat es creua en el moment present. Pensament i acció no són diferents. Pedra, aire, gel, sol, por a caure i jo som u.
FEM CIM
Una vegada al cim, encara em falta la respiració, escolto el vent en la meva pròpia respiració, el silenci vibrant, el foc a la neu, la vertiginosa ascensió de les roques..... Contradiccions. Tot l’ univers es per mi. L’univers em te tot per a ell.

El mal temps no existeix. Es un estat de la ment ? L’ indiferència en frontel fred i les dificultats no es ni duresa ni ascetisme, sinó que es la tranquil·la acceptació de tot el que succeeix, font de la calma interior. Quan la ment es buida com una vall o un canyó, es descobreix el poder del camí. Obrir-se a l’ exterior deixant que entri tota la vida, i fent esclatar en mil bocins aquesta vella corassa, i expulsar fora la pròpia energia.....Volar. Omplir la pròpia respiració amb la plenitud del ser.

DESCENS I REFUGI
Molt aviat el sol s’ amagarà i la lluna s’ aixecarà lluent en el cel. Ens refugiarem i enamorarem dels miracles corrents. Uns anem a recollir llenya, altres anem a buscar aigua al llac. El xiuxiueig dels amics a l’ arribar la nit, el foc de la llenya fumejant a l’ estufa enmig d' espurnes, els aliments toscos e insípids, les privacions i la senzillesa, i la satisfaccióde realitzar només una cosa en cada moment. A l’ acte mateix d’ inhalar l’aire, resideix el secret, la finalitat de la meditació no es il·luminació, es estar atent inclòs en els moments que restenen d’extraordinari. Es ser del present, exclusivament del present. Portar aquesta consciència del ara a cada succés de la vida ordinària.

Bé......
Són alguns del extractes que he tret d’ aquest llibre.

Bon profit i bones piades !!!
Fins aviat,
Manel

1 comentari:

arkaitz ha dit...

Aupa Jaume!!!

Que preciosidad!!!
Conozco muy bien esa zona y es maravilloso!!!
El video cojonudo!!!
Lo de ir narrando la travesia,me ha encantado, aunque se me escapen muchas cosas ya que no parlo catala...jejeje

Vaya refugio el de Campana ehh???
Tiene un refugio gemelo que es el de Bastan, lo único que los fines de semana suelen estar llenos hasta la bandera...
Ya os parecéis un poco a nosotros los Navarrikos, digo por rl trozo de árbol que partis...juajuajua

Y otra cosa, sois unos makinas!!!!jejeje

Agur bero bat!!! (Un caluroso saludo en euskera)
A ver si voy aprendiendo catalán y vosotros un poco de euskera...jejeje

Adeu,agur!!! Y hasta pronto!!!