Refuge de Nice to Refuge des Merveilles

Another two col day, but not quite as far as the day before. Again, not many miles have been covered and the going was slow because ground was steep and bouldery. The scenery was magnificent throughout.

Leaving the refuge

After leaving the refuge we passed some pretty bouldery lakes and came to an impenetrable cirque, and once again there was no way through and no way of working out how on earth the path was going to find a way through.

How do we get to the skyline?

But after a lot of boulder hopping, a way emerged. It was steep and exciting, still with a big mountain atmosphere. It seemed a strange place to be at 8am. Although we were overtaken by a couple of people who seemed as as if they were just running up a flight of stairs, I think we made pretty good progress and emerged on a broad col- Baisse du Basto.

The other side of the col was not nearly as steep as yesterday’s col, but like yesterday’s col, it led to more boulders to cross, which was slow and awkward going.

The second col of the day was pretty straightforward, just half an hour’s ascent from the end of the boulders.

The steep descent to the vallée des Merveilles

This led to the vallée des Merveilles, the merveilles in question being prehistoric carvings on the rocks. There are thousands of them, but we only saw a handful.

I don’t know what this is
This one is known as Le Christ, but dated from about 3000 BC

The night was spent at the very busy Refuge des Merveilles, where for the second night running we had to be on top bunks, this time in a huge dormitory, sleeping at least 50 people. Such snoring.

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