Hourquette d'Anzican

Three roughly parallel passes cross this area of the Pyrenees. This one is the highest of the three, but only by about a hundred meters. In cycling popularity, measured by the number of cyclists on the route, it lies in second place. Hourquette means something like "farm", and the west side really is an immense high, open grazing pasture for all kinds of animals.

I have used the pictures of panoramio and flickr contributors, as well as other web sites to illustrate this page. There are copyright notices and links  to all original pictures. My own pictures were on a computer, that was stolen at the train station Frankfurt Airport (model Acer Aspire One (serial# NUSGPAA01625101C947600F)


1.(00.0km,0750m)START-END SOUTH:jct D929-D30, Anzican
2,(10.1km,1575m)Hourquette d'Anzican
3.(20.3km,1080m)jct with D918 and route to Col d'Aspin, east of Payolle
4.(27.3km,0860m)START-END NORTH:Saint-Marie de Campan


Copyright: Panoramio Contributor;  JulienVidal.com  piclink

Approaches

From South.
There are two options to start the climb, either from Guchen, or the next village to the north, Anzican, as the profile does. The first section through the village has some very steep sections. Climbing above the two villages you get the impression of riding along a balcony. The road is bordered by a low brick wall on the mountain side, and the other side looks out over the village Anzican, and others lining the course of the river Aure up into the high Pyrenees

The road contours around a steep mountain, that culminates in three separate peaks at about 2700meters. The last several km before the summit are in deep shade and forest. The road reaches a point that is slightly higher than the pass itself, immediately before reaching it. At the top is a curious Himalayan looking prayer flagstone, as well as a herder's building. The viewshed changes towards the north. An endless green rolling carpet landscape recedes away from the pass below towards the north.


From North. (described downwards) By the time I really start the descend a dense fog has pulled over the mountain meadows. All the sheep, cattle and horses seem to float in the mist and the mountain above can only be imagined. I include one picture that mimics that scene. The others are taken with better light conditions than I had. There are an impressive number of herd animals roaming around on this side, and they have an ample selection of grasses over a wide area to choose dinner from.  After the road enters forest it winds around so much that I loose my sense of direction. But the gps gets me back on track.

The road meets up with the descent from Col d'Aspin at point 3 and then continues to the low point of the tradtional Tour de France route, before climbing again to Col du Tourmalet

 

Copyright: Panoramio contributor:    he2514    piclink

Lancon from southern approach of Hourquette d'Anzican - through a strong telephoto lens
Copyright: Panoramio contributor:     ralb     piclink


Copyright: Panoramio contributor:    72jack72    piclink edited

History

Cycling-Tour de France: Unlike its super-popular neighbor the Col d'Aspin, this pass was only used twice in the Tour de France 2011 and 2013. Apparently the road has been resurfaced for the race. It is still in very good condition, except for the occasional cow droppings.

 


A Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED:

( < Col du Tourmalet | Col du Tourmalet > )

Hourquette d'Anzican , Col d'Aspin , Col de Lancon : La Mongie > down east side of Col du Tourmalet > Saint-Marie de Campan > Payolle > Col d'Aspin > Arreau > up D618 > Borderes de Luchon > up D25 > Col de Lancon > Lancon > Gouaux >  Bazus-Aure > Guchen > Anzican with detour > Hourquette d'Anzican > Saint-Marie de Campan > back to La Mongie: (r5:16.5,4)
Notes: computer with gps and distance data was stolen

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow