This photograph was taken on Sunday 13th March 2016 in the Pays D'Olmes area of the Ariege, SW France at an altitude of 1600 m. There is at least 1m of snow at this level, with significantly more at higher levels. The temperature during the day at lower levels is a pleasant 14-15 degrees C. A perfect combination of high snow and early spring sunshine! Over the next few weeks it is easier to access the higher areas as the roads become clearer. A great time to visit the Pyrenees.
The Pyrenees rise to 3100m at their highest point in the Ariege. Each year, this being later but no exception, immense amounts of snow acumulate above 2000m, closing all high-level paths, particularly due to the threat of avalanches, just as in the Alps. The high level routes do not become safely accessible until mid-July. However, there are many options on lower slopes not threatened by avalanche. Here, such as at Mont D'Olmes, you can enjoy early spring sun and snow into early May. Nordic ski areas such as Plateau de Beille provide an excellent opportunity to try out snowshoeing.
The beauty of the Pyrenees is that there are always opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors at any time of the year, in generally uncrowded places that are inexpensive.