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Traverse of the High Chartreuse - Day 1

Pictures are at the bottom...

1 August, 2013

Jared had already been keeping me busy on via ferrata and keeping me awake with the stinking hot Grenoble summer nights, but we had plans for an overnight hike, and we had a weather window, and we had things to do and places to be, so we were up again "early" for our hiking adventure. I was.... not feeling it. I was exhausted!

But, we were going to the Traverse of the High Chartreuse, and it did look awesome! We had a much longer than expected car shuffle to get started, but I got to read my book for a while while Jared and Charline sorted it out :)

Then it was up into the woods, for about 20 minutes until we came out near the treeline on the Dent de Crolles, a nice big mountain easily visible from the Grenoble area. We saw a glider overhead, and plenty of groups of people hiking the mountain, but we were headed north and over it's back shoulder.

Where we came to a gaping big cave mouth! I'm not used to living in such a limestone environment, but apparently (of course) the Dent de Crolles is the proverbial swiss cheese mountain, riddled with caves. It was a nice cool stop for us though. Being up in the mountains was lovely compared to the heat in town, but it was still blue skies and sunny, and after our miserable summer in Iceland, I was hot!

We continued north, along excellent tracks, including steel cables for steep sections, until we were on the "back" slope of the Dent de Crolles, and could see our proper path ahead, including what looked like quite a nice steep hike up a hill at the end. We weren't entirely sure at that point if that was our route or not. (It was)

We enjoyed generally pleasant strolling through the hills, with a few scattered trees, until we came to the meadows by the Cabin de Bellefont, which was a steep field completely blanketed in wildflowers. Some were my nemesis from my garden at home, Chervil (Kerfill) which looked a lot less invasive here in it's natural habitat :)

It was a lovely hillside, but it was steep, and we really did need to get over it before we finished for the day, so up we went!

And up and up and up, and into the shade and then a stunning view continuing north and east, we could even see what we believed to be Mont Blanc. (Later map review would support this, we can't find anything else it would have been) And not just far distant vistas! No no! We also got to see Chamoix!

And just as the sun was setting, we got camp set up and enjoyed a lovely dinner, including, of course, red wine :)

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