GR5 Day 7 – running out of Gas

Today was a beast! I thought I would add in some extra mileage by taking the longer tougher variant called the 5b through Italy to make up for some of the distance I lost by skipping the Col du pallet! So I climbed a mighty 2200 metres over four different steep Cols over 41k!
It was a beautiful crisp morning watching the sun come up! I was up at 5.45 without much sleep as we had another snorer in our dorm – a hazard of refuges! I inhaled three cups of strong coffee as my route wasn’t passing any commerce at all for the whole day and set off. It was a stunning alpine morning at 2500m


I descended 700 metres down to the Vallee etroite and then climbed 500m straight up the Col du Thur, then up another Col to the tete noire, and down to Blockhaus, and then another 700m up and over towards to Col Acles. This part was a wonderful test of my mental endurance as I hate heights and the path was badly eroded and really slippery.   The path also wandered into Italy, and you can see the remains of the border fortifications from when relations weren’t so strong.  Then it was back down to the valley again, with a final climb up to Col de Lauze at 2600m followed by a knee punishing 800 m descent into Montgenevre.   It was a stunning day but my legs properly gave up on the final Col. I was stumbling around like a drunk person as I tried to climb, as while I tried to put on the gas, my legs refused to respond. I slowed down a bit and ate a clif bar, some trail mix and drank a litre of water and eventually made it for some stunning views
I am knackered! Ideally I would eat and go to bed but there is no supermarket and restaurants don’t open until 7.30. Managed to keep my eyes open and stumble to Caesars for salad, steak and icecream!  

Distance = 42km

Ascent/descent = 2200/2700

White chocolate magnums = 2

Time on feet = 10 hours non stop

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