2 August, 2013
Yet another beautiful alpine morning, clear blue skies, and meadows of green all around. The weather for my entire trip was pretty spectacular :)
We got up and continued our merry way strolling northwards in a nice shallow valley between the Crêtes de Malissard and the L'Aulp du Seuil. And quickly found that we were no longer alone! We now shared the valley with about 100 head of cattle enjoying some summer grazing. All along this route we would keep seeing shepherd cabins and herds of cattle. Allegedly we were to watch out of sheep dogs and sheep too, but we only saw cattle.
We started seeing marmots too, so Jared happily got to use the binoculars he'd bought the day before. We were walking through some fields of what looked decidely like miniature rhubarb to me, which turned out of course, to be known as monk's rhubarb. (Rumex Alpinus, not actually a rhubarb.)
We enjoyed a very leisurely stroll, gently downhill for a while, before entering a forest. Actually hiking in trees! Not like Iceland! We didn't seem to be getting all that close to our end goals though, and it was hot, and we were low on water. We reached our "low" point, and started slogging up to Pas de l'Echelle. This was steep and hot, but fortunately, at the very top, we met a group coming the other way, who told us there was water at Chalet de l'Alpe, only a km away or so, which was a nice relief.
We were back above the treeline here, with more cows again, the Chalet de l'Alpe being a large shepherds hut/house. (Quite a bit larger than the others we'd seen)
We were on the home stretch here, with Mont Granier getting bigger and bigger in front of us, before we re-entered the forest, and started dropping down one of the steepest longest paths I've been on in a while, all the way back down the tiny village of La Plagne. We took some photos, then headed back the long road through hill and dale towards home.
A most excellent trip, fantastic views and great company.