Day Ten: Pic d'Midi Ossau

After a hard days graft de-rigging the Couey Lodge it was decided that an easy day was in order. Thus a 3000m peak was chosen to be bagged by Pendle's finest. The usual Pendle slackers start saw 0800hrs - Bloomster singing Bob Dylan numbers, 0900hrs - Webbo, Weaner & Swamp Beast - near 1000hrs Thuggo. But by 1000hrs we were away.

Webbo was spitting feathers chuffing something about being at the base of the mountain by 1000hrs. - what does he know ? A pleasant drive followed and despite the best efforts of the areas stinking sheep farmers we were kitted up and ready for the off by 1200hrs. Mad dogs and who ???

Traffic jam on the way to the mountain

Pretty flowers

Swift work was made of the 1st col and we were soon at the Pombie hut. £5 a can saw us refreshed on Orangina, then followed a spot of luncheon at the boulder field before the big push. Bloomster was in charge of rations and broke out a wheel of Camembert. Cheers Steve…..! Luckily we were used to his wily ways & every man had brought some rations. Thus a good luncheon was presented.

Swamps - never a man to learn from experience bet that he could eat a whole ration of salty ticks and tab up to the top of the peak, then march back down to the car - all without a drink of water. The bet was for 1000 Euros. " DONE " said Dave and Andy. Webbo kindly pointed out to Swamps that he'd die horribly attempting this. Sadly the Swampbeast changed his mind.

The mountain was a beauty - it was the biggest I'd ever seen it. We stormed up to the Col du Suzon looking aghast at the hard core climbers on the direct faces. A swift left turn and an indirect one for Thuggo saw us to the kitting up area.

Kitted up and ready to go !

"Big Moaney" Bloom leads the assault!

Thugs and Bloomster soon began banging out the 1st and 2nd pitches. Webbo, Swamps and Weaner followed, on another rope. A few Grade 3 scrambles and a bit of boulder hopping followed and by 1800hrs the Bloom/Thugs party had summited. Stevie was saddened to find that his mobile didn't work….Noooooooo !!!!!!

Later the slack, wheezy Webb posse arrived with a note from matron. Apparently Simon had thought he was on K2 and made his party go to oxygen at 2500m. Luckily Steve hadn't scoffed all the chocolate, rations were shared and we then descended in a mixture of snow, boulder hops and abseils.

Group on the peak

Mountain vista seen on the descent

**See more pictures in the gallery**

Darkness beckoned by our de-kit point, then a quick tab across the boulder field saw us regroup at the Pombie hut. It was then every man for himself - there was beer in the car ! Thuggo got off to an early lead, but veered off into no-wheresville. Webbo stole pole position - Weaner and Thugs now neck and neck. Swamps and Bloom….mmm…who knows…Anyway everyone got lost in the dark to some degree or other - enough said eh ?

We arrived back at 1200am. WHAT A DAY. It took 3 changes of drivers to get back and no one was keen for scoff despite only eating salty ticks and choc all day. Bed ways was best ways for the Pendle boys.


Climbing on the Pic, Pendle style.

Our illustrious leader