In the middle of Hecho Valley, at the gates of the impressive gorge of the Mouth of the Hell, anteroom to the natural paradise that is the Oza Forest, is the Snowshoeing Circuit of Gabardito. A route that will take us to furrow the skirts of the Cuta Peak, populated with beech and pine trees, while we discover the imposing mountains that mark the narrow valley where the Aragon Subordan River flows.
The route consists of 4.8 km, being the car park of the Gabardito Shelter the starting point of this winter route that follows the route of the old cross country ski tracks of this Nordic space. Soon we will leave the refuge behind, a compulsory stop for the GR 11.1 and for the Camile Path, both travel companions in the final stretch of our journey, to enter the leafy forest where this part of the route runs. The beeches, together with the pines, would undoubtedly justify doing this route at another time of the year when snow is not the main protagonist. The typical zigzagging that seeks to minimize the unevenness that we must face, rocks us from one side to another of the forest while we gain the height that will allow us to enjoy spectacular views on our arrival at the first of the forest clearings through which we will pass.
Forca Rock or Agüerri Peak are shown to us with their vertical cliffs while at our back extends the Valley of Hecho and the river that runs through it. We cross this first esplanade and almost at once we come across the next one where we can continue enjoying the landscape around us. From this second clearing, we will go back into the forest to start the winding descent that, step by step, will bring us closer to the final stretch of the route. Ahead of us is the link with the GR 11.1 and the Camile Path, which ascends from the nearby shelter in search of the Foratón Pass and the Bisaurín Peak. We, tempted with the idea of venturing up these two landmarks of the Aragonese Pyrenees, but that will be another day and with other more appropriate material, we continue the descent that quickly brings us closer to the Gabardito Shelter, from where we go up the track that gives access to it and arrive again at the car park, from where we start and where we can end this route with snowshoes.
To reach Gabardito we must first go to Hecho and Siresa well from Puente la Reina de Jaca, on the road that connects Pamplona with Jaca and can also be reached from Huesca. Or from Ansó following the road that links the valleys of Hecho and Ansó with the Roncal valley in Navarra. Once in Hecho we will have to head towards Siresa and continue without deviating from the road that passes through this town, going up the course of the Aragon Subordan River until we find the detour on the right that leads to the Gabardito shelter. The winding road ends when we reach the refuge, but just before we find the main parking of the refuge that in winter, with snow, is the real point and end of the road.
We start this itinerary with snowshoes from the upper parking lot (0h 00min) of the Gabardito shelter.
Either in the same car park, or right at its entrance next to the cattle fence that is located next to the road where we arrived, we can go up the slope that separates us from the forest where the old cross-country ski track runs.
We leave on our right both the corral and the road to Gabardito to undertake the smooth but continuous climb ahead.
The track is gaining height as we go deeper and deeper into the dense forest. The snow and the lack of clear or visible signs can complicate this part of the route, to which we can add the options of shortening the route followed by the track.
Shortly after starting, we encountered the first abrupt change of course, of the many that we are going to face in a short period of time.
We are now going in the opposite direction to the one we have been observing perfectly on our left, part of the route we have just taken. Again our route changes sharply while it continues to make us gain height.
Almost at once we come across the old sign for the cross-country skiing track, when once again we will radically change course to continue ascending.
After a short while we will arrive at an area somewhat clearer of vegetation where the track we are following turns completely around again.
This short stretch comes to an end at the same time as there is a steep ramp in front of us that fortunately we will not have to climb.
We change direction again at this point and this is the last time we will have to do so on this part of the route.
We continue to cross the hillside of the mountain flanked by the trees that populate the leafy forest we are walking through.
This section comes to an end when we meet the first meadow we are going to pass through. A solitary sign marks the starting and entry point of the track we have just covered, giving way to a large clearing that allows us to enjoy the magnificent landscape around us.
We cross the meadow practically in a straight line in search of the grove in front of us.
As soon as we enter it we will come across one of the creeks that we will have to cross repeatedly.
In fact, at this point there will be two creeks that we will cross and that will give way to the second meadow that we will visit.
Just like in the previous one, the width of this clearing in the forest allows us to contemplate the vertical mountains that surround us, which is why we took a detour for a moment to have a better panoramic view going up the white esplanade for a few meters. On the way back to the lower part of the meadow, next to two enormous pines, we will find the path that will take us back to the track we must follow.
A little further down, another typical post indicates the course of the track, at which point, following on our right, we will begin the descent towards the meeting with the GR 11.
The track that we are now following starts from the previous creek that we have crossed and, without touching the meadow that we have just met, goes into the dense forest descending gently through it.
Again we see ourselves changing orientation, as we go through the typical zigzags of the mountain paths.
As before, the curves of the road are quite close to each other, forcing us to be careful not to skip the turns.
Luckily this part of the circuit does have sporadic signs that serve as a reference, showing the way to follow in the few crossroads that we will pass.
The pines govern almost entirely this part of the forest, leaving space right in our path.
The creeks flow downhill breaking the quiet calm of the forest. A new meadow stands in our path allowing us to look at the cliffs in front of us again.
We crossed the clearing without deviating to go back into the forest.
As soon as we do, we'll change course again abruptly to continue the descent. Again we will cross the same creek that we will encounter on more than one occasion.
We lose height comfortably as we approach a new turn in the track we are following.
The forest seems to give us a break, leaving us a little more space and clarity, marking the proximity of the junction with the GR 11.
In fact, it is in this forest clearing where we will find the link of the GR 11 (1h 35min) and the Path of Camille, which ascends from the shelter of Gabardito in search of the shelter of God Save You and the Pass of Foratón.
We turn again, to continue the final stretch of the descent. This part of the route already has the usual GR marks that will guide us to our destination without any problem.
The wide track descends without paying attention to the different junctions it encounters. Soon we will meet in front of the cabin that precedes the Gabardito shelter (1h 45min).
Now we just have to climb up the road that connects it with the valley in search of the point where we started the itinerary.
Of course we can shorten this section without having to reach the track that gives access to the car park (1h 50min) where we will finish this route with snowshoes.
The difficulty of following the itinerary in some areas may cause us to cover more distance than expected.
Facing the route in one direction or the other should not change the time we will need to travel it, but the state and the amount of snow we find will influence it.
The relatively low altitude through which this circuit runs notably conditions the presence of the necessary snow to be able to enjoy it with the snowshoes. It is true that even without snow we are before a very recommendable route if we want to give us a pleasant walk and to enjoy some good panoramic views of the valley and the mountains that surround it.
The special characteristics of any snowy route, added to the lack of clear marks along the route, make it even more advisable to equip ourselves with what is necessary to be able to consult the route to be followed and to orientate ourselves if necessary, as well as knowing how to use it. Of course it is a route designed for snowshoes so they will also be part of our material along with the poles, warm and waterproof clothing, appropriate footwear to use with snowshoes and or crampons, protection against the sun, water and food that along with other components and the camera are common in this type of circuit.
Without having to face large ramps or unevennesses on this circuit and taking into account the relatively short distance of the route, we could fall into the mistake of underestimating the physical demand that all routes with snowshoes have. The effort that the state of the snow conditions notably, forcing us to have to count on it.
Severity of the environment
Once again the snow and its condition condition condition the considerations to be valued. Initially, and except for large accumulations of snow, we should not have to face complicated passes due to their lateral inclination. Even so, it is important not to go in with snowshoes through frozen areas. It is also probable that the snow covers some of the streams we have to pass and not all of them are conditioned with overpasses.
With winding stretches without markers and with the invaluable collaboration of the snow, as far as camouflaging tracks and paths is concerned, we are faced with a route with stretches of certain complexity if we are not accustomed to orienting ourselves in this type of conditions. It is true that the tracks along which the route passes, if not totally hidden by the snow, can serve as a reference but we must also be aware that there will be several paths that cross this area that we will encounter and that are not part of the route.
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|2-Link GR 11
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Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 144-1, 1:25.000"
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise.
Un recorrido muy bonito tanto con nieve como sin ella. Esta zona es preciosa.
¿Did you know that...
The showiness and refined bearing of the traditional Cheso suit make it one of the most outstanding of the Oscense Pyrenees, especially the women's Cheso suit that requires great work in its preparation and subsequent preparation and is adorned in turn with colorful accessories.
Don't miss out...
The Monastery of Saint Peter of Siresa, a jewel of the Romanesque located in the town of the same name that we crossed to arrive at Gabardito. It is a monastery full of history and legends that began to be built there around the ninth century, thus expanding the old abbey that existed under the protection of the Roman road that crossed the valley joining France and Spain.
From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go.
Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.
This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 09-02-2017. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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