Montagne de Cap de Long



Country: France

Location: West of St. Lary Soulan

Round trip: 8 km

Start elevation: 2175 m

Final elevation: 2600 m

Map: 1:50,000 Bigorre,  Rando Editions Sheet #4

Contributor: David Sellars

getting there

From Fabian drive up the paved D929 to the large car park beside the dam at Lac de Cap de Long

featured plant

Petrocallis pyrenaica

partial plant list

Myosotis alpestris

Pinguicula grandiflora

Gentiana verna

Rhododendron ferrugineum

Ranunculus pyrenaeus

Linaria alpina

Primula integrifolia

Saxifraga exarata

Androsace laggeri

Primula hirsuta

Petrocallis pyrenaica

Saxifraga oppositifolia

Saxifraga pubescens ssp. iratiana

Daphne cneorum


This hike leads to the summit of Pic de Campbieil but there are spectacular flora en route that will distract from making the summit ascent.  The trail leads along the south side of Lac de Cap de Long and after about 1 km, climbs steeply up the slope to the south and then traverses along a spectacular rocky path with some scrambling.  Daphne cneorum and Rhododendron ferrugineum are common among the rocks.  The path then crosses a large boulder field and a tricky stream crossing has to be made that is easier higher up where the stream is braided.  On the other side of the stream the path climbs a very steep rocky slope and then reaches a broad hollow at about 2500 m.  Androsace laggeri and Primula integrifolia are common in this area.

The path to Pic de Campbieil leads up the slope to the right but slightly left at the entrance to a narrow valley there is a dark limestone highly weathered rock outcrop emerging from igneous boulders and there are a variety of interesting alpine flowers in this area.  Both white and lilac forms of Petrocallis pyrenaica can be found here together with Saxifraga pubescens spp. iratiana, (a Pyrenean endemic), hybrids of Saxifraga oppositifolia and Primula hirsuta.  On the return, watch out for Pinguicula grandiflora on the wet rocks above the path.

Reference:  Rother Walking Guide, Pyrenees 2, Roger Budeler