Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne
|Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne|
|Length||800 km (500 mi)|
|Elevation change||52,000 m (171,000 ft)|
The Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne (HRP) is a high-level long-distance trail in the Pyrenees joining the Atlantic and Mediterranean. It approximately follows the French and Spanish border and passes through Andorra.
Like the GR 10 and the GR 11, the path travels the length of the Pyrenees from coast to coast. However, where the GR 10 and GR 11 stick mainly to lower routes and mountain passes on the French and Spanish sides of the border respectively, the HRP follows a high course through the mountains and cols, frequently crossing the border to follow the highest walkable route. It is mostly an unmarked trail although the typical paths are sometimes marked by cairns of stones or small red and white painted marks. It is usually done from west to east, which takes about 45 days to complete for an experienced hiker. It crosses the Parc National des Pyrenées and the Parc nacional d'Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici. Many variations on the original route proposed by Georges Veron are possible and described in the guidebook, as well as some easy summits (Aneto, Vignemale). There are some popular and crowded places on the trail, but also very remote areas, where it can take a day before you see someone. In these areas it can be several days between huts, so it is necessary to carry a tent. The HRP crosses the Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago) on the Col d'Ibañeta, near Roncevaux.
The HRP was devised by Georges Véron in 1968. Joosten's published version of the route deviates substantially from Véron's and both offer variants to their main itineraries. A digital (gpx) version of Joosten's guide, improved and expanded, can be obtained from www.hrpguide.org with all proceeds going to a Himalayan earthquake relief fund. In 2020, Louis-Philippe Loncke used the HRP to cross the Pyrenees without resupply or external assistance.
- Georges Véron, Pyrenees: High Level Route, Goring, West Col Productions, 1991. ISBN 0-906227-48-8
- Ton Joosten, Pyrenean Haute Route, Cicerone Press, 2004. ISBN 1-85284-426-4
- Ton Joosten, Pyrenean Haute Route, Second Edition, Cicerone Press, 2009. ISBN 9781852845551
- hrp2011.blogspot.com – Chronicles a full HRP hike in 24 days, including photos and Google maps.
- A detailed trip report of a thru-hike on the HRP including a GPX file of the route.