More mountains and a surprise encounter, Day 29

Another day off after an excellent but tiring week of hiking. This week we have spent most nights in valley towns. Each day has been a climb over one or two cols and an afternoon descending as much as 1100 m. The trails are rocky, steep and sometimes exposed. It may seem odd if you haven’t walked in the mountains, but we find descending to be the hardest part. It isn’t as strenuous as climbing, but it is intense.

The weather has been good to us. We’ve just made it to the refuge in time to miss the several late afternoon thundershowers, which seem to be the norm for the weather this week.

Something I haven’t mentioned is garbage on the trail—there isn’t any! The French respect the mountain trails and although there many hikers here, it feels an unspoiled place.

Tuesday we had a surprise encounter. Looking ahead on the trail to Lac du Lauzanier I saw someone with in very faded red backpack and thought “I haven’t seen such a faded pack since we met François and his friend Philipe here eight years ago”. To our surprise and delight, it was François:

He still has the same backpack he used eight years ago. This year he is doing a six-day walk with his daughter, granddaughter and a group of friends. We were all in the same refuge that evening. It is a lovely French custom for families to do a walk together each summer.

Here are more photos:

Lots of climbing this week in wonderful mountains
Pont du Châtelet 97 m above the Ubaye river.
Trail across rock and scree
Lunch at col Pas de la Cavale
Bring sturdy boots
Old fortification
Another col
Mirror Lake
Hikers climbing the switchback route to col Girardin
Easy walking in alpine meadow
Big landscape and cloud shadows

5 thoughts on “More mountains and a surprise encounter, Day 29”

  1. Goodness – this does look like a rocky climb! Still, everyone seems to be smiling..

    Many thanks for the post card which reminded me of similar small towns in France. They are always charming it seems.

    • Yes. It’s hard work at times, but it feels amazing to be in this environment day after day.

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