A steep day- both up and down.
We did well getting away early, which is harder from a self catering place. Having done most of the cleaning up the night before we were away before 7.30, picking up a croissant for breakfast from the bakery.
Today’s col was a big one- Col Girardin, rather more than a ‘Scafell Pike’ above Ceillac.
There was a half hour walk along the valley before a steep climb through forest, which started near a waterfall- cascade de la Pisse. The necessary jokes remained largely unspoken.
The steep uphill seemed to go on and on, but eventually we came to a small lake- Lac Miroir, with a backdrop of improbably huge and complicated peaks and prickly ridges.
From there it was an hour up (slightly less steep now) to another lake, Lac Ste Anne, a particularly spectacular spot. The extraordinary colour of the water contrasted with limestone mountains behind.
And then it was steeply up to the col. For the last part all vegetation gave up entirely and we zig-zagged up scree.
It was a beautiful spot, but we did have to come down again. More steep rubble led to a delightful grassy/bouldery section with lots of marmots before a final very steep and loose descent, steep and loose enough for the guidebook to use that faintly euphemistic sounding phrase- “care required”.
Maljasset is a tiny hamlet, first spotted more or less directly below us in a very tight v shaped valley.
A very memorable day.
Our friend Ben is coming this evening to join us for a couple of days. It will be strange for him to end up here having been in London this morning. I wonder if we have explained sufficiently the oddities of refuge life- mixed sex dormitories, communal polenta, deeply eccentric showering systems and all that.
There is no phone signal or WiFi here, so I can’t post this today.