The Pic du Midi de Bigorre
The Pic du Midi de Bigorre is one of the highest mountains in the area reaching an altitude of 2877m. On the summit there is an observatory, and an astronomy museum this is open to the public and can be visited using the cable car service from La Mongie which is open year round.
The Pic du Midi as seen looking across the Vallée de Lesponne in winter
Once on the summit there are stunning views of the Pyrenean chain with its mountain peaks and glaciers. There is a restaurant and a snack bar with sun terraces to enjoy the views, as well as the museum which sometimes features live pictures of the suns surface projected onto a screen from a telescope.
Alternatively it is also possible to reach the free access terrace on the summit by foot during the summer months from the Col du Tourmalet using the old toll road. This is entirely free and is a relatively easy walk with panoramic views but it does not give you access to the museum and restaurant. Allow at least 4hrs walking time for the return journey from the Col du Tourmalet.
The more hardy walkers can use the old porters route from Artigues passing through the Coume du Pic and joining the old toll road at the Col de Sencours. Allow about 4hrs 30min walking time to get to the summit of the Pic du Midi from Artigues.
For the very hardy experienced walkers it is possible to walk to the summit from the rental house without using any paved roads. The route goes via Chiroulet, Lac Blue, Lac Vert the Col d'Aoube and the Lac d'Oncet.
In summer it is possible for very experienced mountain bikers to descend from The summit on mountain bikes. Full safety equipment must be worn and an indemnity signed, before using the twice daily cable car service dedicated to mountain bikes and riders. This service is open from the start of July until the end of September.
During the winter skiing season provided you are sufficiently proficient and accompanied by an approved guide it is possible to ski down to La Mongie from the summit of the Pic du Midi. There is also the possibility to descend from the summit at night when there is a full moon.