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avatar BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
July 07, 2014 06:49PM
The following text is a translation of BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014, by u/McRobi!.

BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014

Baqueira Beret, with its 120km in runs and nearly 2k ha. of ski area, is the largest ski resort in Spain and, considered by many, the best resort in the country and one of the top resorts in Europe.

If this wasn´t enough, it is located in the gorgeous Val d'Aran, one of the most beautiful places in the Pyrenees, where alpine landscapes and traditional architecture grant the villages here a particular charm, wether it´s summer or winter.

This year I was fortunate enough to get to know the ski resort as well as other areas of the valley, even though my pictures and comments do not make it justice - this is my story:

BAQUEIRA BERET / VAL D'ARAN

Day 1: Sunday

The worst part of travelling to the Pyrenees for us is that it takes several hours to drive. From Ponferrada (West of Spain) to Garòs - the village where we stayed in the valley, there is around 800km. We had to get up very early, leaving Ponferrada at 7am and arriving 10 hours later.

Once in the valley, we first checked in the lodging and left our gear there, and then drove down to Viella (Vielha e Mijaran, in aranese, the local language), which is the largest village in the valley, to meet with the rest of our group: Paula, Rubèn, Ana and Adri. We bought our lift passes and went for a couple of beers and pinchos (little skewers of varied content) to get up to speed with each other´s lifes and discuss what we were doing the following day. I liked the ambient in Viella, we had multiple options of pinchos to choose from at the bar, similar to the Vasque Country ones, but much more affordable.

This day we could not do much more because we were tired from the drive and we were all keen to get up early the next morning...


Dusina House, Garòs

Day 2: Monday

The day finally came! After several months looking at pictures and reading all the literature about the resort, even chechink the weather reports even though we were nowhere close to it, we finally were in Baqueira Beret! I had been really looking forward to it.

We left Garós with plenty of time to get to the base of the resort because we were not sure how long would it take and I had booked a skiing course so I had to be there by 9:30.

Garós is about 7km far from the base of the resort and it barely took 15 minutes to get there. We parked on the free lot at the entrance and grabbed the train that dropped us by the very base of the resort. All together this took 45 minutes approximately.


Passes

While most of the resorts are already using magnetic cards, Baqueira has maintained the traditional card that you hang from your jacket - maybe this is an identity trademark they want to keep in a vintage fashion?

As I was doing my ski course, I bid farewell to my friends and girldfriend and joined the selection process, where I landed level D - skiers that can do advanced turns and are ready to start edging to achieve better grip to red slopes or with moderate to high inclination.


Baqueira area, picture taken from Era Cabana lift


Baqueira area, from Mirador lift


Baqueira area, from Jorge Jordana lift


Baqueira area, from Jorge Jordana lift

After looking around a lot, I booked my lessons with Era Escóla... this first day was an absolute disaster because the group was too large. While the school says there is a max of 8 students per class, we were 13, and all different levels, so we were doing frequent stops to wait for all members of the group to come together. Also the instructor was doing difficult red and black runs that not everyone was able for. Nobody was happy with the arrangement, even the instructor.

After these 3 hours of lessons, which I enjoyed getting to know the resort but did not actually get to learn much, I joined my friends to keep touring around.


Baqueira area, picture taken from Esquirós run


Baqueira area, from Era Cabana run


Baqueira area, from the Mirador de Baqueira viewpoint


Baqueira area, from the Mirador de Baqueira viewpoint

This day was spectacular as shown in these last two pictures from the viewpoint, at 2,445 m of altitude, where you can see several well known peaks such as Aneto (3.404 m).


Baqueira area, from Jorge Jordana lift


Baqueira area, from Jorge Jordana lift


Baqueira area, from Manaud run


Baqueira area, from Pla de Baqueira run


Baqueira area, from the Coffee shop 1.800


Baqueira area, from the Coffee shop 1.800

As the day was panning out great we skied non stop until almost 4pm, when we had a snack at the Baqueira 1.800 coffee shop. There we enjoyed the sunny weather and had a beer - which cost €2.85.


Baqueira area, from the 1.800 coffee shop


Baqueira area, from the Pla de Baqueira run


Baqueira area, from the Pla de Baqueira run


Baqueira area, from the 1.800 coffee shop


Baqueira area, from the Baqueira run

We were skiing for just over 7 hours until they closed the lifts. No doubt we took full advantage of our first day. This day we only skiied in Baqueira, one of the three main areas in the resort (Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua). However we would have plenty of time in the comin days to get to know these other areas.


Viella, Sant Miquel church

At night, after a well deserved rest at the Garós house, we went down to Viella again to do some tourism... which started as strictly cultural and slowly progressed to only gastronomical.

Our first day in Baqueria was to dream for! Amazing snow, excellent weather and the best comapny. What else ca you ask for??

Day 3: Tuesday

As well as the previous day, Tuesday morning was bright and clear, as forecasts predicted another awesome day. As I was getting some lessons again today we also had to get up early to get to the resort first thing.


Baqueira area, from the Mirador chairlift

I have to say I found them quite difficult, but the thought of sliding down those dreamy empty slopes under the tame dusk light, really made up for the early rises.

New people joined the course this day, so they made new level tests. I stayed with the same teacher and some of the people that was in my group the previous day, as well as some new people. The overall level of the group was much more similar, but there was still too many students, 11.


Beret area, picture taken from Jorge Jordana chairlift


Baqueira area, picture taken from Vista Beret lift


Beret area, picture taken from Vista Beret lift


Beret area, picture taken from Dera Reina lift


Baqueira area, picture taken from Jorge Jordana lift

Even though it was still a large group, at the end of the day I had a better experience during the lessons than the previous day: lessons had been more technical and the ski level of the people in the group was more alike, so I really enjoyed the skiing - I think we all did, unlike the previous day. In fact, after the lessons when the teacher suggested doing a couple of extra laps, I didn´t think twice. I would like to thank the teacher, Paco Castellarnau for being such a passionate instructor and knowing how to share this pasion with all of us.


Baqueira area, picture taken from Cafetería 2.200 hut


Baqueira area, off piste


Baqueira area, off piste

After a quick beer at the Cafetería 2.200 hut I got to know some parts of the resort that I wouldn´t have been able too had I been skiing on my own. Paco, our instructor stayed with us for a couple of extra runs. We did tree runs while he kept giving us pointers and suggestions to improve our technique. I enjoyed this extra time with him and the rest of the group: Aran, Segun, Sergio, y Luis, which I´d like to send a greeting. We had such a good time we did not want to stop and I didn´t get to eat until 5pm.


Beret area, Colhet de Marimanha run


Beret area, picture taken from Cafetería Dossau hut


Montgarri Valley, from the Dossau lift


Beret area, from the Dossau lift


Beret area, from the Ticolet run

The latter is an image of the highest skiable terrain: Tuc deth Dossau, at 2,516m. It shows the beauty of Beret area which, to me, is the most beautiful part of Baqueira.


Beret area, from Beret 1,850 m.


Beret area, from Torn de Baciver run


Beret area, from Ta Baqueira run


Baqueira area, from Dera Cascada run

I met my friends in Beret, where we skied until the lifts closed. We were very tights to get the last lift back to Baqueira, so much that we were skiing down practically alone. It may sound a bit sickening but this day we opened and closed the resort.


Dusina house, Garòs

At this point we had two days of 7 hours skiing each under our belts, also being tired from the drive to get to the resort, we decided to rest this afternoon and did not go outside of Garós. However, being 6 people at home it wasn´t hard to have the party at home...

Day 4: Wednesday

According to the snow report we had 7cm fall overnight so, even though we were tired, we were excited to get up early to get some fresh powder.


Baqueira 1,500, picture taken from Baqueira parking lot

If weather forecasts were right this was probably going to be the last "good" day we were to have so... we had to enjoy it!


Baqueira area, from Mirador lift


Beret area, from Vista Beret lift


Beret area, from Dossau lift


Beret area, from Egua 1 run


Beret area, from Egua 1 run


Beret area, from Dera Reina lift

Every day I was feeling more confident during my lessons, I was enjoying skiing while learning (in spite of the first day being a let down). It was definitely a good idea to sign up for the course. Paco (the instructor) also offered us to ski together after the lessons however I declined as I wanted to join my friends in Boniagua and I had to ski across the whole resort to join them.


Baqueira area, from Solei run


Bonaigua area, from Dera Mina lift


Bonaigua area, from Dera Mina lift


Bonaigua area, from Dera Mina lift


Bonaigua area, from Dera Mina lift

I would have liked to spend mopre time in the Bonaigua area because from what I could see from the chairlifts it seemed like a more unspoilt area, more isolated from the actual resort, with more terrain than slopes. It would offer lots of possibilities on a powder day.


Bonaigua area, from Bonaigua 2,072 m.


Bonaigua area, from Argulls


Bonaigua area, from Manaud lift


Baqueira area, from Mirador run

It started snowing while we were having lunch in Bonaigua 2,072, clouds closed up and there was zero visibility. We skied back to Baqueira in a white out, following the slope side markings and using the maps often, trying not to get too delayed in case conditions got even worse.


Baqueira area, from Baqueira run


Baqueira area, from Baqueira run

A day that started very good with amazing snow, got gradually worse to the point that we could not enjoy ourselves due to bad visibility. This day we did not stay until lifts closed and at 4pm we left the resort.


Sant Julià de Garòs church, Garòs


Garòs

As we got back earlier, we enjoyed the last hours of light to get to know Garós, the village where we were staying. Valle de Aran is well know for its well taken care of villages and mountains - each street in Garós was a photo-op, with the stone houses and alpine roofs. This night we also stayed in the village. There is not a hughe amount of night life but there is enough to go out for a bite while enjoying the warmth of a fireplace.

Day 5: Thursday

When you spend a week in the Pyrenees in February it is difficult not to get a bad day. For us Thursday and Friday were not great with awful conditions: cold, windy and snowy....


Baqueira area, from Stadium run

Due to bad conditions we took our lessons in the lower part of the resort, where visibility was better. Also this day we had a race organised by the resort for all the people attending the ski courses. At first I didn´t like the idea very much because instead of skiing we wasted a lot of time, first waiting for our turn to take part in the race and then descending one by one. On the other hand it was a good experience to ski downhill from flag to flag feeling like a professional skier. It was a pity the day wasn´t better because we were "only" 8 attending the course and we were skiing much better as a team.

As my friends were hanging around Baqueira I decided to stay with the group after the lessons, enjoying and suffering skiing... even though the conditions were not good we kept going.


Baqueira area, from Restaurante Cinco Jotas Grill Baqueira

I joined my friends at lunch time, hoping the weather would improve while we savoured some foods, but it did not. After one last run down we decided to stop as the conditions were not great.


Baqueira area, from Mirador lift


Baqueira area, from Guineu run


Baqueira area, from Mirador run

But just as we were taking off our skis, there was an opening in the sky so we hurried back up. We spent another hour up the hill, where we enjoyed some of the best runs of the week, with very few people on the slopes and great powder snow. Even though the day was not 100% good, we didn´t leave the resort until they were closing the lifts...


Viella

This night we went back to Viella, we enjoyed a few beers as we realised our ski week was coming to an end, and we only had one day left...

Day 6: Friday

This day started so dull that if it had not been because of my ski course, we probably would not have gone up at all.


Baqueira area, from Bosque lift


Baqueira area, from Bosque 1.800 run


Baqueira area, from Info Café

Our instructor Paco was guiding us however the wind, fog and snow made it very difficult to sky so we ended the lessons with a hot chocolate. We said our farewells. During the week we spent 15 hours skiing together and discovering Baqueira together. Even though we would probably never meet again, it was a pleasure to ski together.


Baqueira area, off piste


Baqueira area, off piste


Baqueira area, from Baqueira Bar

After the lessons I met my friends and decided to use the last day´s forfait until lunch time. Our last day´s skiing was limited to a few descents among the trees on the lower elevations and a good few beers in the bar to try and make the best out of the bad weather...


Baqueira 1.500

And so ended a good week of skiing. A few years ago I wouldn´t have even thought about coming to this resort which I associated with posers, rich and too cool for school people. This is nowhere near reality! Without a doubt I would love to come back here, I did not get to do many things such as the well known Escornacrabes, off piste descent. Who knows it might be the excuse to come back next year!


Garòs

This night we had over 15cm of snowfall so we could not move from Garós. We decided to go out and play with the snow, as if we hadn´t seen it enough during the week!

Day 7: Saturday

On Saturday we decided to do some tourism in the valley, looking as we would be tired from the week´s skiing and the resort would be much busier on the weekend. We went to the lower part of the valley near the French border - we went to villages like Bossóst, Les, Bausen or Canejan.


Bausen


Bausen


Bausen


Lower Aran, views from Canejan


Canejan


Canejan

In the morning we went to Bausen and Canejan, two small and quaint mountain villages that have amazing views. In the summer, I imagine, there would be lots of trekking routes starting from here.


Er Occitan restaurant, Bossòst (image taken from their website)

We went to Er Occitan, in Bossòst, for lunch, as it had been recommended as the best restaurant in the whole valley. I´m not sure about all the hype but indeed it must be among the best, staff, quality and presentation were impeccable.


Hot springs at Baronía de Les


Hot springs at Baronía de Les (image taken from the hot springs´website)

After a short walk around Bossòst, we went to Lest where we ended our vacation in the best possible way with a session at Baronía de Les hot springs. Each first Saturday of every month they organise a chill out evening, they lower the intensity of the lights, decorate the place with candles, have finger food while a DJ plays live music... al this while we wedre relaxing in the hot springs! It was amazing.

Day 8: Sunday

We sadly left Garòs, Baqueira Beret and Val d'Aran for home, knowing our holidays were over and already looking forward to our next ski trip to the Dolomites.


Donostia/San Sebastián, panoramic view of the beach Playa de la Concha

We went back home to Ponferrada following a motorway that runs parallel to the Pyrinees on the French side of the border, we decided to stop in San Sebastián. This is one of those places where it is always a good idea to make a pit stop.
___

It was a spectacular week with variable weather, were we enjoyed the slopes in Baqueira as much as the atmosphere of the villages in the valley and the company. Without a doubt coming to Baqueira was a good choice.

Original blog post: [aventurasdeundominguero.blogspot.com.es][/quote]

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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
July 10, 2014 12:57PM
Shared! :+::+::+:



Solo sé que Sócrates no sabía nada, o algo así era


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Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
August 28, 2014 04:11PM
Baqueira is begining to be a well known place among Londoners for its exquisite food, rather than the one in the Alps. Only Swiss restaurants can compete, but not in price.
The only problem to be solved its the food at the slopes... but they're into it.

Ciao

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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
August 28, 2014 10:59PM
Good photos Fairy de las Nieves :+:

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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
August 29, 2014 07:28PM
Cheers man but unfortunately they are not mine - I just translated u/McRobi´s article. This is the original. It´s also credited at the beginning of this post. I picked that one coz I thought it was very detailed and the pics are indeeed pretty awesome!
smiling smiley:+:


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Ancares 88
Good photos Fairy de las Nieves :+:





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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
September 20, 2014 10:04PM
Quote
Fairy de las Nieves
Cheers man but unfortunately they are not mine - I just translated u/McRobi´s article. This is the original. It´s also credited at the beginning of this post. I picked that one coz I thought it was very detailed and the pics are indeeed pretty awesome!
smiling smiley:+:


Quote
Ancares 88
Good photos Fairy de las Nieves :+:

Ok :+:

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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
November 14, 2014 10:35PM
Great Report ! :+:





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avatar Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
November 26, 2014 12:24PM
Wonderful! I've been to Baqueira a bunch of times and do not disappoint :+:

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alexin999
Re: BAQUEIRA BERET | February 2014
November 10, 2015 04:22PM
hola me gustaria compartidos mi video de esqui en baqueira de este año




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