4 Everests in 22 days….

More interesting statistics from my GR5 walk across The Alps last year:-

GR5 Data from Memory Map
Date Place Ascent (m) Descent (m) Distance (km) Time Av.Gradient
02/09/06 Saint Gingolph
03/09/06 La Chapelle 1929 1306 14.9 05:53 22%
04/09/06 De Chesery 1750 764 17.5 06:04 14%
05/09/06 Samoen 500 1700 19.8 11%
06/09/06 Les Gets
07/09/06 Moéde Anterne 1894 620 18.4 06:28 14%
08/09/06 Les Houches 1043 2020 14.7 04:23 21%
09/09/06 Chalet Nant Borrant 1447 962 19.3 05:52 12%
10/09/06 Chalet de la Balme 2193 1683 23.4 10:40 17%
11/09/06 Refuge de Rosuel 1369 1801 21.8 09:11 15%
12/09/06 Val D’Isére 1401 1149 21.3 08:04 12%
13/09/06 Lanslevillard 1361 1732 29.3 10:26 11%
14/09/06 Modane 1005 1409 28.5 09:09 8%
15/09/06 Refuge étroite 1558 830 16.2 06:53 15%
16/09/06 Montgenévre 1800 1741 27.3 10:48 13%
17/09/06 Chateau Queyras 2012 2462 33.6 13:30 13%
18/09/06 Ceillac 1097 821 12.5 05:26 15%
19/09/06 Fouillouze 1703 1474 21.9 09:13 15%
20/09/06 Bousieyas 2201 2211 30.9 12:54 14%
21/09/06 Auron 1652 1915 20.9 09:42 17%
22/09/06 Roure 2299 2813 32.4 14:21 16%
23/09/06 Dalmas-Valdeblore 1321 1105 13.8 06:32 18%
24/09/06 Utelle 1737 2228 23.4 10:48 17%
25/09/06 Nice 1640 2438 32.9 10:19 12%
34912 35184 494.7
Number of Everests 3.9

As you can see the walk nearly equals climbing 4 Everests from sea level in 22 walking days. Hoping to make a youtube video of a 3D fly through of the walk….

Days 20&21 Auron – Roure – St. Dalmas-Valdeblore

Yesterday was another long day, 23miles with over 5500ft of ascent due to me being told that one refuge was closed and the other full.

I started with another piste, going up the hard way, to Col du Blainon then a lovely descent to Roya (whose gíte apparently has the best chef on the GR5) it then turned into a hard slog upto the Col de Crousette where you then have to continue climbing upto Stele Valette at 2590m (the last time over 2000m!), couldnt see The Med as it was to hazy, after which a further 5 hours of walking bought me to Roure, where Karen had booked me into the delightful Auberge Le Robur (003393020357) which literally clings to the hillside overlooking the 2000ft drop to St. Saveur- sur-Tinée. The chef rustled up a masterpiece veggie meal for me. A good ending to a hard day.

Today was lets take it easy day with a mere 10miles and ‘only’ 2600 feet of ascent mainly on tracks with several bar stops on the way.

Only two more days left now tomorrow should be Utelle and the then its Nice on Monday. Each day having around 2000 feet of ascent.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650

GR5 Days 18&19 Fouillouze-Bousi?yas-Auron

My grand tour of Alpine ski resorts continues with a stay tonight in Auron 1600.
Yesterday was an epic day of 7.5 hours walking in a day out on the road of 10.5hours. I covered 21 miles with ascents totalling 6200ft or so. Chris, I did arrive knackered at 7.15 but actually very exhilarated too. Standing alone on the Pas de La Cavale (8763ft) surrounded by 1500ft feet drops on both sides and the most incredible views, total silence and failing light was magical in the extreme. It was my lucky day as well, the guardian at Bousiéyas was serving veggie food, even though the refuge guide said no food was available. I was contemplating having to break into my sardines!
Peter, not sure wether it was brave or foolhardy. Never contemplated any experience as bravery, I guess it was a word missing from the West St. Vocabulary but in hindsight it was a good decision and lets face it probably safer than nipping over Hills Road to the Co-Op. (btw great news about the new hip walking 14miles in a dayand no more Docs for 4years.)

Todays walk from Bousiéyas to Auron via St. Etienne-de-Tinée was epic for a different reason. Its the first time I walked back on my self after going wrong and restarting the trip!
I covered about 15miles with 3500ft of ascent in totally glorious conditions. I just want to stay wandering these southern alps. The flatlands of Cambridge are going to be really hard – 1000ft climbs are mere pimples now.

Todays thought for the day was why the Alps I’m crossing are made of such rubbish materials?. My Creswellian days of walking on pit tips and slag heaps is the best training for over here. Not a decent bit of millstone grit or granite in sight. Its all crumbly shale and small rocks. Which is why the path keeps on disappearing into landslips – which adds to the scare factor if you happen to be day dreaming 🙂 I bet this is the first time The Alps have been compared to pit tips – Interestingly it also contrasts mans puny efforts to the forces involved in pushing up a few hundred miles of shale to heights of a couple of miles or so.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650

Day 16 GR5 Aiguilles to Ceillac

I (or more precisely the hotel owner) arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 8.30 and to drop me up off at Cháteau Queyras to resume my perambulations on the GR5.

My left knee still had twinges of pain so I breakfasted on Nurofen super strength pills and vowed to take it easy and stick to the track!

The cheese mountain (Col Fromage) starts of steep but is well marked and soon turns into a nice easy ascent of just over 3000ft the knee behaved itself and the weather was kind too (although I must get another hat if it starts getting sunny – lost the last one somewhere). Looking back across the valley I could see the full extent of yesterdays disasters – I must have been mad. Check out Googleearth to see the crags and slopes i was trying to turn into a shortcut!

The Cheese Col has a false top so I thought I was on my way down when I met a party of walkers, on their way up. They recgonised me from last night at the hotel (they were doing bits of the GR58 which apparently takes in 8 countries of the Alps from Slovenia to France see www.via-alpina.org) they dutifully informed me the Col was still to come!

I made it to Ceillac in fine form at 1.15pm AND DECIDED to stay 🙂 .

I’m now a couple of days ahead of myself so hopefully will get a flight a week on Thursday 28 Sept. and be back in time for the CRUFC lunch on Saturday and maybe a drink at The Pig on Friday night.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650