Tag Archives: Port de Clarabide

The Bis of 330bis painted

A recent discovery of Corinne Gourgeonnet: besides the bordercross of 330(-bis) a large ‘Bis’ has been painted in recent years.

A ‘Bis’ because there are 2 crosses 330:
– one at its original location ± 4km west of this one on another border pass (engraved in the 19th century)
– and this one at Port de Clarabide, engraved in 2003. The original cross was considered to be lost or unfindable around 2000 and so a new one was engraved at Port de Clarabide.

But the original 330 still existed at the Port d’Aygues Tortes which was called Port de Clarabide on old maps. And that’s where the Treaty prescribed the engraving of bm330. But the toponyms of both passes changed on the maps in later years. And that explains the confusion.

See also this post and this webpage.

So the new 330 is in fact a second 330-bordercross and should be referred to as 330bis. That’s why the ‘Bis’ has been painted. But who is responsible for the painting? We think it is Jean-Paul Laborie – commissioner of the Pyrenean border committee – who talked about it on our joint trip to the new ADR-bordermarkers in 2019: see this post.

And indeed, it was Jean-Paul Laborie who did the job, I guess in 2020. He wrote me that he took a chisel and red paint to the Port. But his chisel proved not to be sufficient for this type of hard granite. He could only engrave the “bis” rudimentarily and paint it red. He was glad to see on Corinne’s picture that it is still in good shape. He sent me this picture with the ironical subtitle “the engraver of the peaks in his works”:


Amazing: the original bm330 rediscovered

September 14, 2012. Jean-Paul Laborie climbed to Port d’Aygues Tortes in freezing weather. He had a mission: finding the original bm330. We know that this bordercross was engraved in the 19th century at Port de Clarabide and nowadays  there is still a cross 330 at this col. But that cross was engraved in 2003, the previous one was unfindable.
Jean-Paul Laborie is a member of the Pyrenean bordercommittee. Apparently bm330 puzzled him and at some point he got a brilliant idea. Could it be that the toponomy of the borderpasses as shown on the maps have changed in the course of years? And that the original Port de Clarabide was somewhere else? He compared old and contemporary maps. And his hypothesis was confirmed! The contemporary Port d’Aygues Tortes used to be Port de Clarabide. And that’s where Jean-Paul found the original bm330.