On a sunny Sunday in September we started off from Vall de Núria to complete some unfinished business we had with a neighboring mountain peak called Puigmal. Two weeks earlier we had attempted the peak but had to retreat midway due to dense fog. That attempt had brought my Puigmal success ratio down to 50% with two successes and two retreats due to adverse weather conditions — the first retreat due to an August snowstorm, followed by the first success via three other Puigmals.
Puigmal (2.911m) — a.k.a. Puigmal d’Err — is among the highest peaks in Catalunya and lies on the border between Spain and France. The mountain can be accessed from various starting points both in France and Catalunya. The easiest route goes from the moderately remote valley of Vall de Núria which is accessible by rack railway from the town of Ribes de Freser. The path is called Camí del Puigmal — the Puigmal Path — and is a reasonably easy hike for reasonably fit hikers. There are some steep parts close to the Puigmal peak but nothing to write home about.
The hike was very enjoyable as we enjoyed the fresh mountain air of the Pyrenees, the beautiful landscape and healthy combination of philosophical and practical discussion. Undoubtedly the highlight of the discussion being the conclusion that our conscious minds take overdue credit for actions carried out by the subconscious part of our brains. I retrospect, that conclusion was quite unsurprising given the fact that our conscious minds have a senior management role in our bodies.
We reached the summit of Puigmal in an hour and fifty minutes and I was delighted to get my success rate back over 50%. After a lunch break on the top we headed back down the same route as we came, reaching the Santuari del Núria after the and a half hours of hiking. From the we continued our return to Barcelona where we sat down for our traditional post-hiking beer and tapas.