Monte Perdido

Monte Perdido glacial lake Lago de Marbore, view from the Brecha de Tuccaroya

The Monte Perdido ( Mont Perdu French ), the Lost Mountain is at an altitude of 3,355 meters, the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees. It is located in the municipality Estaube the Spanish province of Huesca, in northern Aragón in the national park Ordesa y Monte Perdido, just south of the border with France. At the foot of the mountain the rivers Cinca and Arazas. The over the border between the two countries extending massif is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

World Heritage

The ' Mont Perdu ' in the Pyrenees is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Is to honor the geological uniqueness, the beauty and diversity of nature that has become rare in Europe, traditional ways of life such as the alpine pastures ( transhumance ) as well as the extraordinary role played by the Pyrenees for the art and culture of Europe.

The protected area covers on the Spanish side of the national park Ordesa y Monte Perdido and parts of the biosphere reserve on Vignemale, on the French side, the eastern part of the Pyrenees National Park and part of the nature reserve Gedre - Gavarnie. Up to the Spanish National Park, none of the protected areas with the area of the World Heritage site is the same. This instead reflect the geological boundaries of the mountain range. The total area is 30 396 ha since 1988, there is an agreement on cooperation between the park administrations on both sides of the border.

The shape of the mountain is quite different on the different sides of the mountain. While the south side of three long ridges and several deep ravines ( Ordesa, Añisclo, Pineta with the cirque lake Lago Marbore and Escuain Gorge ) is marked and gradually slopes down to the foreshore towards the north side is much more rugged. The salient features are three basin: Cirque de Gavarnie, Cirque de Troumouse and Cirque de Estaubé. The south side also has a much drier climate than the north.

The award as a cultural landscape takes on a reference to the centuries-old role in tourism. The French resort of Gavarnie draws on already since the beginning of the 19th century guests, including famous names such as Victor Hugo and Gustave Doré. Secondly, the form of land use is mentioned in the grazing areas are common property of the seven surrounding villages, and where management and rights of way regardless of the international border jointly negotiated. So it is common that sheep and herds of cattle, horses and goats graze in the summer of Spanish farmers on fertile pastures of the French side.

A long-standing dispute between the World Heritage Committee and responsible for tourism was the Festival de Gavarnie, a theater spectacle, held each year since 1985 right in the Cirque de Gavarnie. Since 2005 it is organized on the basis of regular protests outside the territory of the national park.



The easiest route to climb begins at the north-west Refugio de Goriz ( 2,200 m). From here the route east to Lago Helado ( frozen lake ) in the Col du Marboré leads to then go south to the summit. From the hut, it takes about three hours. From the summit you have a good view of the located in the west and northward Vignemale the massif of Néovielle. Technically and physically much more demanding is the rise over the Balcon de Pineta and the exposed north Perdido Glacier.

First ascent

After Ramond de Carbonnières was wandering with his guides Rondo and Laurens four days in search of the summit in the massif of Monte Perdido, him on August 6, 1802, the promotion to the summit. Here they found to their disappointment that Colonel Maury, a Spanish cartographer, had ascended the summit already in 1791.