GR5 Day 1 – what happened to the path

It was always going to be a long day – 46k, more than 2000m of climbing and a guide book estimate of 14.5 hours of non stop walking.  I was (overly) confident I could do it in much less.  

On the bright side it was a stunning stunning day in the Alps!  Total perfection.  I set off at 6am filled with optimism for the day.  And then I started climbing up the first ascent and all of the paths were like this 

Today’s soundtrack was clearly going to be ‘mud, glorious mud’.   It was a challenging first few hours of mud.  

Then we met my other nemesis – snow.   I am not a fan of snow! I go out of my way to avoid winter entirely and succeed most years.  And I am ok with snow in the Alps – it makes the mountains look pretty – but am less thrilled with it when it covers the trail and markings and you haven’t the foggiest where to go.  It’s ok if it is a small bit, but I encountered this monster around 10am, and did the only sensible thing a girl who is scared of heights could do – I crawled up the side of it on my hands and knees on the rock face – it’s steeper than it looks.  

The snow was also responsible for some major navigational booboos…. It is hard to follow the trail when you can’t find it – and I lost it a few times today.  

The day got better once I finally found an open cafe – at 11.30 am when I got my first coffee of the day and inhaled a huge croque Monsieur.  I didn’t see many hikers apart from a large group of French strollers who were taking a day walk to Lac Vert with more gear than I have for 18 days, and the tutted at my lack of walking boots

The views were stunning and it was a wonderful days walk, in spite of the quad busting/knee crushing final descent into samoens. I was on my feet for a total of 10.5 hours with only a brief lunch stop – I was too scared to stop in case everything seized up.  Am now lying on floor with legs in air trying to sort my calves out!

Up at 5.30 again tomorrow
Distance covered = 47km

Ascent/descent = +2184m/-2466m

Times fell over = 3 (twice on butt and once on knees)

Times lost the trail = 4

Cake inhaled = none 🙁 

Times wished I had taken a navigation course = 5

Time I remembered to put sunscreen on = 2pm 

Fundsraised = £4864.66 🙂

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