The Haute Route Pyrenees (HRP) follows the French and Spanish border, starting in Hendaye on the Atlantic coast and finishing in Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean. Large sections of the route remain unmarked.
The original HRP route was devised by Georges Véron in 1968 and later adapted and popularised by Ton Joosten’s guidebook "Pyrenean Haute Route" (Cicerone Guide). The HRP described in the 2nd edition of Ton Joosten’s book has total distance of approximately 500 mi (800 km) and an estimated elevation change of 183,000 ft (55,800 m).
Like with other famous trails, there is not one single HRP route, but variants exist and it is possible switch between the high-route and lower alternatives on the GR 10/GR 11.
Note that the "Pyrenees Crossing" route taken by Kilian Jornet in 2010 is different. It has some overlap with the GR10 and GR11.
The map & GPX file are from http://doingmiles.com/2010-07-hrp/ which has an excellent report from a 5 week backpacking trip on the route.
I (Matthias Ekman) will be attempting to set the self-supported FKT for the HRP, starting on Saturday July 14th. More info about my attempt can be found here: https://sites.google.com/view/matthiasekman/running/hrp-fkt-july-2018
Hi Matthias, just checked your tracker and it seems that you stopped at l'Hospitalet pres l'Andorre after 17 days. Maybe interesting to know that Dutch adventurer and ultra runner Jolanda Linschooten is just one day behind you on the HRP, leaving El Serrat today and expected passing l'Hopitalet this evening on her 16th running day. Her Spot-tracker is not public, but she places daily posts on her Facebook page whenever possible. She was slowed down for two days in the first part of her trip due to illnes, but recovered well.
I completed the Ton Joosten HRP in 22 days 5 hours 51 min, starting in Hendaye on 2018-7-14 5:58 am and finishing in Banyuls on 2018-8-04 11:49 am (as you can see on my public tracker). I arrived in L’Hospitalet determined to stop there; I had run out of food, the local shop was closed and worse the outter sole of my left running shoe had come loose two days prior. I had sent 5 resupply boxes with food and gear to some locations I was going to pass by- unfortunately non of the boxes made it. The DHL track and trace page showed that the L’Hospitalet package was the only one that was delivered on time. However, upon my arrival at the gite I had to learn that also this last package wasn’t there. Somehow that was too much for me to handle in that moment. At that time I had traveled without maps, salt tabs, contact lenses for 13 days (all in the resupply packages that never made it). I don’t remember what made me continue the next morning. Two days later I found some superglue to fix my shoes, that didn’t work for long, later I tried some tesa tape (the kind that kids use to wrap birthday presents); I must have looked like a clown. I certainly felt like one. Unnecessary to say that running at that point became quiet impossible. I’m still happy about the time; though I was hoping for something under 19 days. Will write and link a more detailed report here soon. Hope Jolanda finished safely and is all well. (don’t have FB on my phone to check).
Congratulations, Matthias!! Looking forward to your report. It must have been a hell of a trip. You faced similar problems as Jolanda, with resupplies disappearing in the mail, worn out shoes (she was lucky to buy a new pair in Gavarnie), lack of food, a closed shop in l'Hospitalet etc. Jolanda finished save and well and is on her way back home. Make sure to get in touch with her once you're back.
Congrats Matthias!! Solid effort given everything you encountered. Really well done for pushing through the lows and hope the highs were all worth it!
Can’t wait for the report!!
I am excited! I just learned that I hold the unofficial FKT for the HRP than. I just finished the Route in 20 days and 12 hours from Hendaye to Banyuls but had not an FKT attempt in mind and therefore I did not carry a tracker.
Not to put a downer on your Amazing effort - Congrats & well done!! - but do we not need to state our intention prior to the fact and have a live tracker for it to be considered official?
Appreciate you have stated unofficial in your comment but it seems as though it has been recognised by the FKT website.
You are right, I have no idea why it is up there..but well it is! haha.
Well congratulations in any event!! Official or not, its an unbelievable achievement and hope I can learn a thing or two from your report!
All the best!!