Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge
1 – 6 September 2023
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new trek – ‘Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge’. This is a fabulous four-day trek in the magnificent Pyrenees Mountains from France into Spain which is not for the faint-hearted.
The trek commemorates the escape route used during World War II from Vichy France into Spain. Local people risked their lives to help thousands of allied servicemen and Jewish refugees fleeing to safety. The route passes plaques and memorials dedicated to their bravery. The trail starts in St. Girons in France and finishes in Alos d’Isil in Spain with ascents of approximately 2,500 metres over some challenging terrain.
The Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge is a once in a lifetime adventure. An arduous trek with local guides and experts to bring to life the exploits of those who crossed this escape route in conditions far worse than anything current day participants might encounter.
A deposit of £200 per participant to be paid upon registration, thereafter the aim is to fundraise a minimum of £1300 per participant, which covers all accommodation and feeding throughout the trek. Please note that in addition to the outline costs above, participants will have to book and pay for their own flights to/from Toulouse Airport (details are on the registration link).
Trek Itinerary (Suggested itinerary – N.B. this is subject to change based upon local conditions):
Day 1 – 1 Sept 23 – Arrival at Toulouse Blagnac and transfer to Auberge accommodation in Seix or 3* hotel accommodation in St Girons. Airport pick up from Toulouse Blagnac for your recommended flight arriving at 1645hrs. Chemin de la Liberté museum visit on your arrival day or the next morning.
Day 2 – 2 Sept 23 – Drive to St Girons (if not staying there). Walk La Soumere or St Girons – Aunac or Esbinz – 4 hours starting from La Soumere or 8-9 hours and 23km, starting from St Girons.
Day 3 – 3 Sept 23 – Aunac or Estbinz – Subera Hut/Eycheil Hut – wild camp (1499m) Trek approx. A fairly demanding ascent. Trek approx. 6-7.5 hours, +1023m (from Aunac) or +700m (from Estbinz) height gain.
Day 4 – 4 Sept 23 – R Subera – Refuge Estagnous (2240m). A challenging day as we move into higher mountain terrain with likelihood of encountering lying snow. We spend the night at the Estagnous Refuge (2245m). Alternative available if needed due to conditions. Trek approx. 8 – 9 hours, 9.85km, +1560m height gain, -811m
Day 5 – 5 Sept 23 – Refuge Estagnous – Spain via the Col Pal de Clauere to reach Borde de Perosa and transfer to Vielha. We set off trekking downhill to the stunning Lac Rond (1929m). The path is extremely steep – via ferrata cableway to assist us, though no technical experience is needed, it is however exposed. Once at Lac Long (2125m) the border at the Col de la Clauère is almost within sight. It’s all downhill from here into Spain! Enjoy tapas in the vibrant sporty town of Viehla … and an excellent cocktail bar and recover. Celebratory dinner. 3* hotel. Trek approx. 10km, +600m height gain, – 1400m 7 hours
Day 6 – 6 Sept 23 Departures from Viehla to Toulouse or Toulouse Blagnac airport in the late morning or early afternoon. A chance to look around this amazing little sporty town and its cobbled streets before you depart.
Dates and group size
- The dates for the Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge are 1 – 6 September 2023.
- Minimum group size will be 20 people.
- Maximum group size for each trek is 30 people. Demand is likely to be very high as this is the first time the Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge event has been conducted by the charity.
- The deadline for registering is 31st May 2023 and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Are you Interested?
Interested in entering as an individual or know five people or more interested in entering a team from your company?
If you would like to take part in the Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge, please register using the registration link.
This charity trek is coordinated with Freedom Trail Treks – Home page for Freedom Trail Treks
For more information about the Pyrenees Escape Route Challenge prior to registering, please email the regional team at: email@example.com