GR5 Day 5 – High in the Vanoise

Another amazing day in the mountains!  Up at 5.30 for apple cake, cereal and coffee strong enough to put hairs on my chest!   A lovely walk down the valley to the refuge entre deux eaux, through a bit of snow but not much! 

Then I headed up the hill traversing a series of tricky high ‘neves’ (snow blocks) and some incredible paths through the boulders (that’s the track below), for 3 hours without seeing a single soul, and mostly being in the fog with less than 50metres of visibility, although I saw tonnes of cute marmot butts hopping away from me and a lovely antelope of some sort.  

I arrived at the refuge arpont around 11, it was extremely flash and even had power plugs.  After two coffees I headed off along the ‘balcony’ for the long walk to the next refuge (which was supposed to be six hours away).  

The gr5 runs through the Vanoise, and for some reason they have adopted much more patriotic trail marking than the standard white and red.  The tricolour kept me on track more or less. and I arrived four hours later to the lovely refuge plan sec to a cold shower and a hot tea.  I washed my stinky clothes – they don’t smell great now so I can’t imagine how bad they will be in another few hundred kms.

 I sat by the fire to warm up and then had the usual refuge communal dinner of soup, polenta, chicken, veg, cheese and creme brûlée.  I was entertained by my 7 French dinner companions – all male, all having left their wives at home.   They were a bit surprised my husband let me out by myself!  I love the French.  

Again to bed at 8.30 – hiker midnight 

Distance = 35 km

Ascent/descent = 1350/2270

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