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Monte Perdido

Monte Perdido

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Monte Perdido is the third highest mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

. The summit of Monte Perdido (3355 m), located in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, lies hidden from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 by the seemingly impenetrable peaks of the Cirques of Gavarnie
Cirque de Gavarnie
The Cirque de Gavarnie is a cirque in the central Pyrenees, in the Pyrenees National Park. The cirque is 800m wide and about 3000m wide at the top.Major features of the cirque are La Brèche de Roland and the Gavarnie Falls....

 and Estaubé
Cirque d'Estaubé
The Cirque d'Estaubé is a cirque in the central Pyrenees in the Pyrenees National Park, forming the frontier between France and Spain. The cirque lies 4 km to the east of its better known neighbour, the Cirque de Gavarnie, which is accessible via the Hourquette d'Alans ; the Marboré valley is...

. It is in the north of Huesca province. The mountain forms part of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is an IUCN Category II National Park situated in the Pyrenees of Huesca province, Aragon, Spain. There has been a National Park in the Ordesa Valley since 1918. Its protected area was enlarged in 1982 to cover the whole region amounting to 156.08 km².It has...

, in the west of the Pyrenees, in the community of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

, Spain.

Access to the mountain is easier from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 than from France. The route starts near the village of Torla
Torla
Torla is a municipality located in the province of Huesca, Aragon, Spain. According to the 2004 census , the municipality has a population of 315 inhabitants....

, Aragon, at the Ordesa Valley
Ordesa Valley
The Ordesa Valley is a glacial valley in Aragon, in the Spanish Pyrenees which forms part of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.The valley's east–west orientation, unusual in the Pyrenees, opens it to influence from the Atlantic Ocean and gives it a moderate climate...

 and ascends the Cirque de Soaso towards the Refuge of Góriz before the stiff climb to the summit. It is a dangerous climb with snow.

National Park


Monte Perdido is the centre-piece of the Spanish Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is an IUCN Category II National Park situated in the Pyrenees of Huesca province, Aragon, Spain. There has been a National Park in the Ordesa Valley since 1918. Its protected area was enlarged in 1982 to cover the whole region amounting to 156.08 km².It has...

 which was established in 1918 with just 21 square kilometres of land. The park has grown significantly to 156 square kilometres and incorporates the whole of the Añisclo Canyon. There are more than 1500 species of flowers, 171 species of birds, 32 different mammals and 8 types of reptile in the Ordesa. Most magnificent of all is the Lammergeier
Lammergeier
The Lammergeier, Lammergeyer, or Bearded Vulture, Gypaetus barbatus , is the only member of the genus Gypaetus. Traditionally considered an Old World vulture, it actually forms a minor lineage of Accipitridae together with the Egyptian Vulture , its closest living relative...

 (Bearded Vulture) with a 3 metre wingspan
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

. The Pyrenees is one of the few places in Europe where these birds can be seen.

External links

Normal route and Escaleras route to climb Monte Perdido