lundi 30 septembre 2019

Mont Valier from Col de Pause

I haven't been up Mont Valier in 5 years so a visit was long overdue. It's also a good test of my fitness in comparison to the many previous trips (over 10). Last time was my second fastest round trip from the Col de Pause (3h45 up, 4h10 down) so I was particularly pleased that this time I was quicker (3h45 up and 3h35 down).

Susie has dance classes Tuesday to Thursday so she wasn't up for a big mountain day so I went solo (with a bell tied to my rucksack so I didn't surprise any bears). I set off from the col de Pause at 7.35 and was a bit surprised that the sun hadn't come up yet. I immediately met three walkers descending but saw no-one else until the very end of the walk.

I made the Port d'Aula in 1h15 then crossed over into Spain. The weather was perfect - clear sunny but not too hot. Many, many isards including some quite large herds of 20+

Eventually I crossed back into France and then followed the ridge with some scrambling and exposure to reach Petit Valier then after a descent to the Col Faustin, Mont Valier.

Fantastic views in all directions.

After a 25 minute lunch on the summit I started my return, carefully over the tricky sections on slightly tired legs.

More isards and marmots on the return through Spain and then on the Port d'Aula 20 or so vultures made a low level flypast for an excellent photo opportunity.

On the descent form the Port d'Aula Etang de Prat Matau and Etang d'Areau were both a lurid green

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