National Geographic : 1956 Mar
Heads in Clouds, Feet in Snow, Climbers Scale Monte Perdido In the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, Monte Perdido rises 10,997 feet, third highest point in the range. Though its name means "lost," Perdido may easily be found by anyone with stout legs and a guide. Jutting Pic du Marbore (right) shelters the Cirque de Gavarnie in France (page 303). Page 313, lower: Autumn's first snow clogs the corkscrew road near the top of Pic du Midi de Bigorre. Springing from a plain to a towering 9,439 feet, Pic du Midi looked so high that many used to regard it as the summit of Europe. In 1787 Ramond de Carbonnieres, a French geologist, became the first to as cend Midi's crest, and saw the glaciers of the Cirque de Gavarnie on the horizon above him. Thus he established Midi as a lower peak. + Route des Pyrenees Scrapes the Sky France opened this sea-to-sea road about the turn of the century. Skirting the main crest, it crosses passes over ridges that extend like bent fingers (page 333). Here at 5,610 feet the route threads the Col d'Aubisque. Argeles Gazost, 19 miles from the marker, and Eaux Bonnes, 7/2 miles, offer thermal spas.