jeudi 17 juillet 2014

Port de Barlonguere

8.00 start from Pla de Lau and straight into the stiff climb up the Vallon Peyralade (same route as my climb of Pic de Barlonguere last autumn). 50 minutes saw me out of the trees and into the sun which was already hot. The footbridge opposite the Cabane de Peyralade has been washed away and the snow bridges were all too thin to attempt. A large group which had been staying the cabane opted to stay on the left bank and climb to the Cabane Trincade, crossing higher I up. I knew this was a lot further so after some searching I found somewhere to cross - though it was mid thigh deep!

A helicopter passed me several times dropping supplies for the bergers at the Cabane de Barlonguere.

I got to the col after about 3 hours and it was really hot. I had planed to climb Pic de Trois Comtes to the right of the col, but the view from the col of the Etang Long was too tempting so I opted to descend. Passed some Irish on the steep névés below the col without sticks or ice axes - dragging their kids up! A slip would have been difficult to stop and could have had serious consequences - none of them looked very happy.

Looking down from the col, Mont Valier on the left

The Etang Long was about 80% under snow despite the heat, but quite beautiful.

Great view of the last part of the voie normale up Mont Valier

After lunch at the outfall of the lake, I descended to the Etang Rond, I was sorely tempted to swim but after putting my feet in for a few minutes the cold was decidedly painful.

The long descent of the voie normale of Mont Valier took me back to Pla de Lau - about 6 hours 30 minutes in total, plus lunch.

Flowers today were varied and amazing, including these geraniums and the orchid below

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