Tag Archives: via alpina blue trail

Day 8 : Larche – Colle Del Maurin 18th June 2013

Slept well in the tent. Very quiet.no need ear plugs here.

Woke up 6:30am. Started ascent to Col de Sautron at 7:30am.

Is the grass greener in Italy ? Let ‘s go and checked it out.

Shortly after leaving Larche the Via Alpina leaves the GR5.

During WW2 1940 this place has been defended and fought for.

Torrent des rouchouses is flowing from Col de Sautron and nearby Col des Monges.

The plateau nearby the torrent des rouchouses is really green and peaceful now.

Reached Colle del Sautron 2687m at 10am. Little bit of snow both sides, few neves to cross or go around.

Stop for breakfast & drying tent on the way down to newly built Bivacco Danilo Sartore (great location)

It was open when i passed by it.

The way down to Chiappera goes by many laces. This side is full of stones & rocks…still beautiful & imposing surrondings peaks.

Rifugio campo base phone number changed +39 334 841 604

Arrived Chiappera 1660m at about 12:30am

Stopped for lunch at Rifugio Campo Base. Really nice place.

Daniela speaks French and cooked one of the best meal i had so far.
The quality/price ratio had really increased here in ITALY compared to Alpes Martimes where i have been disappointed by the value for money (lowest i have seen since ages) about food and accomodation

Rifugio campo base surely makes a great spot to stay overnight but i want to pass Colle del Maurin and reached that lake after the pass to camp overnight.

That is why i am doing my homework a little early today (half day had passed only) but i know no wifi will be available up there..Took loads of good pictures already..take a look & enjoy 🙂

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View of Larche village

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Bivacco danilo sartore

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Gelato & fruit by Campo Base Rifugio

Day 7 : St Dalmas Le Selvage – Larche 17th June 2013

Sleeped well last night. Paid 18euros for the bed and 15euros for dinner at Philippe Issautier gite in St Dalmas Le Selvage.

Woke up 5:30am and started walking after breakfast before 6:30am.

Going up to Col de la Colombiere 2244m. Got there at 8am. Snow left overs little bit.

Way down to hameau de Bousieyas 1887m and cross la route de la Bonette which can get you to 2802m (highest road in europe)

La route de la Bonette has just been opened last friday. It is a cyclist, bike rider and tourist heaven.

There was one stream of water to cross before Bousieyas.

From Bousieyas it is going up in a very nice 360 degree surrounding panorama

Reached Col des Fourches 2261m at about 9:50am

Awesome view from there really and like 5minutes walk from the road. Can make a great camp ground there.

It then goes down in Marmottes heaven (lots of them in that area) to grange de Salse Morene 2098m. There is a shelter there and it looked open and unoccupied (there might be a sheep keeper in season) it really look like a perfect house for a night but i got there at 10:10am.

The way up to Pas de la Cavale is very steep on the final approach. One long Neve to cross and one tough 10-20m spot to cross and that was it : Pas de la Cacale 2681m 12:00am lunch time.

Cross 4 young hikers going southbound to La vallee des merveilles with snow shoes. Exchanged informations about what was coming next for me (col girardin and the way to Briancon through Chateau de Queyras) and them (col de crousette)

The way down from Pas De La Cavale was all covered with still a lot of snow. It is not steep down and even flat to the lakes. The snow was hard underneath still.

Walked less than an hour in the snow to reach the second lake on the way down : lac de Lauzanier

Took a nap there and rested around 2:45pm.
Walked down the rest which gets almost flat alongside the stream of water called Ubayette.

It entered a new region now : Alpes de Haute provence.
Leaving Alpes Maritimes

Now it is Ubaye county. Reach Larche (nordic ski resort) at about 5:30pm

Will stay for the night at the camping ground les Marmottes who opened today.
7.5euros for hot shower,water & toilet with no tissues. 1euros for wifi. They also sale food there.

Walking time : 8h
Resting time : 3h
Distance walked : 32km
Altitude in Larche : 1688m

Weather was nice and sunny in the morning with a nice breeze of wind which was great.

On the other side and going down from le Pas de la Cavale.no more breeze..got hot in that valley but it is ok because fresh melted snow is coming down from everywhere

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St dalmas le selvage village

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Col de colombiere 2244m

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On the way down to Bousieyas

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On the way up to Col des Fourches

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View at Col des Fourches 2261m

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On the way up to Pas de la Cavale

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Grange de salse morene 2098m

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View from Pas de la Cavale 2681m

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View on lac du Lauzanier 2281m

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On the way down to Larche

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Larche first house when coming down

Day 6 : Roya – St Dalmas le Selvage 16th June 2013

Roya nice little village. Actual  population : 6 inhabitants

Woke up 6:30am and started hiking 7am.

Reached Col du Blainon (marked 2014m. 1984m on GPS device) at 8:30am

Nice and sunny, little breeze blowing. Perfect for breakfast & drying tent.

Going down through woods to plateau d’Auron at about 9:20am.

Left Auron ski resort at 12am.Free wifi is available at Tourist office.

It then goes down to St etienne de Tinee.Arrived there 1:30pm. Had lunch and a piece of red meat for 12.90euros @ bar/restaurant de la poste (new owner who dont know how to make business).

Leaving this nice cute village at about 2:45pm and shortly after on the way up saw a cat. Stopped for a picture and started one way conversation with him…

An old man named Auguste appeared from the shades and started talking to me.

He told me that the coming Col d’Anette was a very good camping spot with water & woods (meleze) for fire.

When i got at Col d’Anelle 1753m 4:30pm. It is a very good spot for camping and the cool extra : 2 bathtubs of fresh water to deep into.

Called Gite owner in St dalmas le Selvage to check if there was a bed and dinner available for me.

Left Col d’Anelle 5:15pm moving slowly down to reach St Dalmas Le Selvage to end up that day on the Via Alpina (still following GR5)

Great view on the Mercantour national park when coming down from Col d’Anelle

St Dalmas le Selvage is a charming alpine village with a beautiful church (lots of great photography can be made there)

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House in Roya

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On the way up to Col de Blainon

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View of plateau d’Auron ski resort

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St etienne de tinee church

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Auguste and one of his cat

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View of st etienne de tinee on the way up to Col d’Anelle

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On the way down to st dalmas le selvage.view of the Mercantour national park

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Church st dalmas le selvage

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House in st dalmas le selvage

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Day 5 : Roure – Roya 15th June 2013

Woke up early today 5:30am.

Start walking 7:30am (live blogging takes time 🙂 )

Going up smoothly in the trees and alpage plateau and reach refuge du longon 1846m at 10:00am

Nice and sunny this morning..really feel like being in the Alps now

Manu the refuge keeper get me a plate of local food  and while eating quietly outside, 2 chamois just passed by 100m away running for their life.

The old patou dog just woke up and started chasing them (videotaped it)

“the wolf must have them moved like this” said Manu the refuge keeper.

That was just awesome. Left the refuge de longon around 10:30am knowing that i might have to turn back due to heavy snow still ahead. Had a backup plan and enough time to check it out and decide or not to go through…

The alpage there is just great, reaching les portes de longon at around 11am.
Beautiful there.slightly going down and meet a girl observing Gyapete barbu bird.

This place in the Mercantour national park is where they try to re-introduce this bird species.

At about 1600-1700m near hameau de Vignols it goes up to reach col des moulines. On the way up need to cross a first stream if fresh water.

Reached col des moulines 12:15am.
First Neve around 1:30pm on the way to col de crousette (not as much as expected)

Snow was soft on top and hard underneath. Progression was good as the temperature dropped and getting cloudy. Prayed the lord for no rain 🙂

Reached top at 2pm.Windy there but ok.

Col de Crousette is a little down from the highest point.

Long exposed neve (about 300m) to cross to reach col de crousette 2600m.got there 2:25pm

Huge amount of snow as expected but great and fast going down because not so steep. Snow is hard only 10cm goes in. (wished i had a snowboard with me…)

Total snow depth about 50cm still.

Took me about an hour to go down and leave the last remaining snow. Needed to cross another water stream (quite deep about 50cm)

Spot few marmottes on the way down.

Really nice going down with all the surrounding view of water coming down from different place of the mountain.

Arrive hameau de Roya 1500m at 5:45pm.

Gite Vieille Ecole is full.It is saturday and a group of 20 will celebrate a birthday there.

Will have dinner and shower at the gite vieille ecole (15euros) and will camp and sleep in the tent for the night.

Great day today. Alpine action really kicked off today. Great scenaries. Spot wildlife. Cross a few water streams. Great day on the Via Alpina

Walking time : 7h40
Resting time : 3h
Distance walked : 30,6km (the day was so great and challenging that it felt shorter)

Best day so far on the Via Alpina

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Vallee de la Tinee view from Roure early morning

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On the way up to refuge de longon

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Food at refuge de longon

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Plateau longon

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Have too many pictures and videos footage too…really no time to comment all now..

NB : on this day backup/alternative route that can be used.

From Roure GR652
From Col des moulines going to Valberg then to Roya (avoiding col de crousette)

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Sleepy Patou dog but will wake up soon when the Chamois will pass by

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Day 4 : St Martin Vesubie – Roure 14th June 2013

The champouns gite owner in St Martin Vésubie introduces her 2 lamas to me (videotaped it) this morning before leaving “la suisse nicoise” (st martin vesubie).

Took nice pictures with the lamas.

Start walking 8am and took wrong trail…went up very steeply & down. Was back on the road and started 9am on the right way.

Taking the laces up in the pine forest on the trail to Le benitier and vallon du vernet.

The via alpina is going up on the other side, it was shorter for me to take that way and catch up the via alpina at the col st martin (la colmiane)

La colmiane ski resort 1500m at the col st martin is the point of entrance to la vallee de Tinee…leaving la vallee de la vesubie from there.

10:20am and going down to St dalmas. Arrive st dalmas valdeblore 11:15am.

Meet young mom strolling her new born and old lady taking care of the musee du terroir (too long story to detail it now)

Bumped into 2 hikers going southbound on the GR5. Got informations about what is coming next.

La valle de tinee as much more flora than the vallee de la vesubie i could notice.

Also much more religious signs in this vallee. Lots of crosses and chapels on the way down through la bolline, rimplas and to arrive at about 500m in St sauveur de tinee 4:15pm

Called the town hall in Roure village. I can go up there at stay in the gite tonight.

Leaving st sauveur 4:45pm and arrive Roure around 6pm at about 1100m.

Alone in the gite but the 2 ladies (mother and daughter) leaving next door will turned out to be really nice and talkative.

Marcelle and Yann will give me washing powder for laundry…yes there is a washing machine here…how cool is that?

Anyway Marcelle and Yann told me a lot of things..borrowed me IGN maps..gave me tomato, tuna and wine too.

Thoses 2 women must have rescued a lot of hikers here. There is no shops around…40 persons lives in Roure during the year…some people come for holidays winter or summer only.

Ok have to go…very challenging day tomorrow and the next few days also…looking forward for it

Today was sunny but not too hot…nice cool wind in this vallee de la tinee

Walking time : 7h10
Distance covered : 26km

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Lama chilling in st martin vesubie

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6years old lama female also resting

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View on st martin vesubie when i took wrong trail

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Mercantour national park mountain view on the way up to la colmiane (col st martin)

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Vallee de la tinee first view

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St dalmas valdeblore church

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Alpine house vallee de la tinee style…st dalmas valdeblore GR5

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Vallee de la tinee

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Pissaladiere local speciality (oignon and anchovie pie)

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Nice alpine house vallee de la tinee. La bolline

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Going down to st sauveur after rimplas village

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How amazing is that?

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Religious item vallee de la tinee must have very religious past

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View of st sauveur de tinee

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Cool cat from st sauveur de tinee

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St sauveur de tinee church (feel like being in spain)

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Outside st sauveur de tinee church

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St sauveur de tinee bad guys hanging out 😉

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View of la vallee de tinee on the way up to Roure

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Enjoy

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Roure village

 

Day 3 : Bollene-Vesubie – St Martin Vesubie 13th June 2013

Woke up 6:30am. No animals noise or disturbance during the night.

Temperature did not drop very much at night…Leaving forestry shelter at around 7:50am.

Was off the Via Alpina so took a short cut by the road to reach down Bollene Vesubie.

Lots of canyoning action is going on in that valley.

Nice view on the Bollene Vesubie village..arrive 8:20am and left 8:45am.

Arrive Belvedere at 10:30am, meet an old lady picking roses in someone else garden (got a video footage of her stealing the roses 🙂 )

The garden owner were supposed to come in soon she told me and she likes the smell of the roses.

Will hear later that roses should be gone now and rhododendrons should be blooming but late spring this year…very late

In the Belvedere village, also bumped into the refuge keeper of refuge de NICE on the GR52.

Belvedere is on GR52A (variante)

Refuge de NICE keeper told me that at the refuge de NICE @ about 2200m, they still have 1.5m of snow…old snow from the winter…therefore only people with skis were coming…no hikers

In Belvedere which is very nice village also ate some really good goat cheese.

The goat cheese maker (Patrice PETRONI) got a #1 gold prize in a Alpes maritime (south east france) contest. Congratulation to him and thanks…loved your cheese man 🙂

Today has been very hot and warm since the morning. Leaving Belvedere around 12am

Luckily the trail goes not very steeply up in the woods.

Meet 2 germans girls hiking the other way (from Berthemont to Belvedere)..videotaped the encounters…they looked really exhausted when i meet them nearby Belvedere.

Later on shortly after reaching thermal place Berthemont les bains, took a swim in the fresh water coming down the mountain.

There was enough to soak in fully in a little tub of fresh water..really good and refreshing.

After that had to climbed up steeply to reach the highest place of the day at about 1300m.

Great view of the vallee de la Vesubie from there. Can see Berthemont, Belvedere and also Bollene Vesubie in the background.

Was there at 4:30pm.

Arrive St Martin de la Vesubie 980m after a long last 5-6km of flat walk @ 6pm

On thing interesting in that village is that there is a flow of mountain water running in the middle if the streets…really cool

The gite “les champouns” owner where i will stay for the night told me that winter time when she was a kid and when “la rigole” (water stream coming down the street) was frozen…they used their class backpack to go down hill and slide down all the way to the bottom of the village.

The gite “les champouns” is off St Martin about 2km away (been told 1km on the phone but it is actually at least 2km and going up) on the road up to Venanson.

The view from there is great..price is 18euros no breakfast but cooking gear available…and YES there is a shower with hot water and a comfy bed. Only me tonight so good rest ahead..tommorrow saturday and it is fully booked already.

Walking time today under hot sun : 7h30

Distance walked : 31km

Tommorrow morning will take a different path than the Via Alpina to get off St martin de la Vesubie and reach St Dalmas. There are many hiking trails around St martin de la Vesubie and also base camp for trail runners.

A lot more to explore…may be next time 🙂

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view on Bollene Vesubie village

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On the way to Belvedere

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Belvedere church

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View from Belvedere

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#1 gold prize goat cheese..bon appetit

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On the way to Berthemont les bains GR52a

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Vallee de la Vesubie view..belvedere,bollene vesubie in the background

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Vallee de la vesubie sheep

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Vallee de la vesubie free cow

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Italia behind that mountain

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Local speciality SOCCA st martin vesubie

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Town hall st martin vesubie

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View of st martin vesubie from les champouns gite

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Food for the next 2days 🙂

Day 2 : Sospel – Bollene-Vesubie 12th June 2013

Woke up at 5:30am because my foot and the bottom of the sleeping bag got wet for unknown reason.

Started walking around 7:20am.Bumped into Swiss hiker waiting for the shops to open for breakfast doing a few days tour in the Mercantour area.

Left Sospel following GR52 on the Via Alpina blue itinerary now. Going up and reached Baisse de Figueras 8:20am. Hot and sunny day already. Heavy sweating and happy to get the trees shades.

Enters Parc National Mercantour around 9:00am. Nice view from there.
Reached Baisse de la Liniere 1346m at 10:15am.

First encounters of Via Alpina small markers.

The GR52 carries on up hill. I guess it might be possible to go that way. The Via Alpina is going down to Moulinet following yellow and green markers.

There is a camping ground near san sebastian chapel before arriving to Moulinet 690m

Got into Moulinet village 11:30am.Went to stamp my carte du passeur de col at the town hall and been told it has been snowing at 2000m in the area last sunday.

Got also a lunch booked at nearby Bar le trou du renard. Lunch is served at 12:30am

This bar is owned by JO 66years old brave lady. Working on her own and very talkative. She got help only during summer time season.
She serves home made and fresh dishes using that day strawberries grown locally…

Started hiking again all full and happy around 1:45pm.
Going up in the woods again towards Col de Turini.Nice and cool weather in the trees shades.

Got at Baisse de Patronel 1608m around 4:10pm.

Reached Col de Turini at 5pm. From there it can carry on up hill to Cime de la Calmette. Probably nice view there. Did not go but should have.

It goes down through ski slopes to the small ski resort with hotels and restaurant of Col de Turini.

The trail then goes down west on a forestry road, smoothly first then more steeply in the forest.

After checking the maps to look for potential camping space. I noticed a forestry shack on the map (off the Via Alpina) but near Bollene-Vesubie (3-4km)

It might be open ?…let’s check it out and make it the free roof place to crash for the night.

Got there at 7:30pm and YES it is open. Youuuuhou…got a house for the night to end up yet another beautiful day. Lots of forest and pine trees here in the Vallee de la Vesubie.

Walking time : 8h10
Resting time today : 4h05

Distance covered : 33,7km
Dev + : +2681m (i think the device is wrong with the cumulated denivelation)

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Meet Jo 66, Moulinet Le Trou du renard

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On the way to Col de Turini

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Open Shelter/hut near Bollène Vésubie (off the via alpina but marked on IGN maps)

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