Rambling to Tuc de Mulleres (Spain)

The mountain crest near Tuc de Mulleres. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.
View from Tuc de Mulleres. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

Another part of the truly endless wonders of Northern Spain. We started this hike to Tuc de Mulleres (3014m) early in the morning from the valley of the old Espitau de Vielha, finishing in the late afternoon. Starting out gently in the valley forest, the path winds up to the top of a gushing waterfall. After that, a series of still, transcendent, deep green lakes, and the irregular song of bells, and finally the bleating of sheep grazing on summer pastures. The perpetual maze of rocks and boulders can be taxing, but not so much if you pause to gaze at the shadowy bare shapes of the Pyrenees or eat pain au chocolat gazing at the steely reflections of the mountains in clear water. The ascent was long, but steady, until the last scramble and climb to the tuc itself (this last section onto the crest of the mountain and over to the left towards the peak itself would have been difficult without someone who knew where they were going, so some caution would be advisable). At the top, we lit up the little Primus stove and ate like hiking royalty–Swedish meatballs and pasta–with the sun shining, a cool wind, and a wondrous view of the mountains all around us. Seemingly not so far away, Pico d’Aneto tantalizingly close with its sheen of snow. The trip down was straightforward after the initial steep ascent from the tuc. A swim in the glacier lake washed off much of the afternoon heat, as did the welcome cover of the valley forest for the last section towards the old hospital.