mardi 26 août 2014

Tour de Mont Valier

Before Susie and the kids arrived there was just time to finish the cupboards in Jasper and Ruby's bedrooms, build a ski rack and make a knife and spice rack in the kitchen. 

Monday was Philippe and Sophie's wedding and in the evening there was a soirée at Gouteto, interrupted by a massive thunderstorm.

On Wednesday I picked up Susie, Jasper, Ruby and Jordan. An afternoon mushroom hunt took us to Aliot and because of the number of fallen trees blocking the paths we ended up on a rather 'longer then planned' trudge through the forest. Good training for the up coming trek in the mountains and full basket of mushrooms to show for our efforts - horn of plenty, chanterelle, hedgehog of the woods.

 Snack break

The end of the path!

Coral fungus

Chicken of the woods

Saturday we headed off for our three day tour of Mont Valier. Our packs were heavy with tents, sleeping bags and three days of food. Ruby was a bit under the weather with a cold but everyone was determined.

The climb of 3500ft to the lakes at Milouga is steep and unrelenting and an emergency stop for hot chocolate at the Cabin d'Aouen was called for. The clouds stayed just above us as we climbed higher with views to distant peaks.

Finally we reached Milouga and after a short search found a fantastic camping place. The clouds cleared to reveal Mont Valier above us.

At night the sky cleared and the temperature dropped to zero, everyone survived but some were warmer than others!

Jasper, Susie and I were up early and ready to go - not so Ruby and Jordan. Eventually, many hours later (11.00), we started our climb towards the Col de Pecouch 2478m.

Ruby was finding things especially tough and I found myself carrying two packs on the ascent.

Susie crossing the vast granite wilderness above Milouga

 Mont Valier and Valieret

Finally after lunch we reached the Col. I ferried the rucksacks down the exposed first section from the col then we continued down to the Estanous Refuge.

On the Col

 At the Estanous Refuge and a well earned cold drink

We continued down to the Etang Rond for a second night under canvas. The Mosquitos were relentous so an early night for everyone. The temperatures were much warmer and everyone was warm enough.

In the morning, we had to decide weather to continue to the Etang Long and over the Col de Barlonguere or descend via the Riberot. Another late start determined our fate and with the hot weather it was a wise choice as Jasper suffered with little too much of the sun.

 Ruby sets out from our camp at the Etang Rond

We got back at 4.00pm after several dips in the tempting (but cold) waters. It's always good to descend knowing you can eat the remaining of the food you are carrying, without worry that it might be needed later.

Back at the house we all relaxed, basking in the hot evening and watching the falling stars

Today it was a lazy day all round. Susie was sunbathing and baking, the kids playing badminton and I scythed the saplings out the field below the wood shed then went on a mushroom hunt, collecting a basket of horn of plenty. They'll be dried, to join our haul from earlier in the week, then jarred up for casseroles in the winter.

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