The summit of Monte Perdido (3355m), located in Spain, the great lost mountain of the Pyrenees, lies hidden from France by the seemingly impenetrable peaks of the Cirques of Gavarnie and Estaube.
To get to the mountain from Spain is easier. Explorers first had to hike from the Aragonese village of Torla along the huge Ordesa Canyon and then up through the Circo de Soaso before attempting the stiff climb to the summit. Mont Perdu is the centrepiece of the Spanish Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido which was established in 1918 with just 21 square kilometres of land. It is the highest limestone summit in Europe and the third highest peak in the Pyrenees.
Today the park has grown significantly to 156 square kilometres and incorporates the whole of the Anisclo Canyon. There are more than 1500 species of flower, 171 birds, 32 different mammals and 8 types of reptile in the Ordesa. Most magnificent of all is the lammergiere (Bearded Vulture) with a 3 metre wing span. The Pyrenees is the only place to see these birds outside of Africa.