Short and beautiful day

So today should be an easy one, 2 hours down to Pralognan down in the valley, and then 8-10km of slow ascend towards Col de Chaviére, don’t know where we will stay tonight, maybe at the refuge halfway up to the Col. I’m now way behind my initial itinerary and i will be arriving in modane tomorrow – a day behind schedule, so i have a whole day extra – i can’t go further into the mountains after Modane as there’s no way to get back again, so i have made plans to alter my home flight tricket to saturday in-sted of sunday.

Tomorrow is friday and i guess i will be in Modane by tomorrow afternoon, this means i have to get a room in Modane for that night, and the train for the airport leves at noon.

Up with the daylight, ready to leave

It’s 7:30 when we leave the refuge, it’s super cold, my hands are freezing! But once we get moving it’s ok! 45mins later we hit the famed water crossing, we have a little photoshoot… the trail down is on a gravel road and boring, but the view are sweet

We pass the father and son, have a short chat with them, they have pitched their tent right next to a closed refuge, it’s a nice spot with a grand view, as we continue down it get’s warmer and warmer, and i’m shedding layers fast.

Cool place for a photoshoot

After 3 hours of descending on gravel roads, we arrive at the small town of Pralognan, it’s a super cool and beautiful little alpine village, Malcolm tries every outdoor shop, but they don’t carry any gas!

We have a nice break at a small cafe, cake and coffee! just what we need! at the local Info, Malcolm get info on trains and bus lines in Modane. I ditch the by-now super smelly Tyvek groundsheet, i don’t know why it started smelling, but it’s bad and i have to get rid of it, a large plastic bag with peanuts and rasins, that i haven’t eaten any of, also make’s it into the bin… stupid to carry this the all the way!

Pralognan in the early morning sun

it’s all most 13.00 before we get out of town, we have about 15km of slow ascend toward Refuge de Péclet-Polset, the sun is beating down from a cloudless sky and it’s not long before i sweat like a pig! Pig’s apparantly sweat a’lot… it’s a Danish saying!

Road walkin! It’s a pain, but it’s the only way. After an hour or so, we reach the trail head, there is a big parking lot, and a lot of cars, but from here it’s on gravel road witch is way better than road. The gravel road takes us thru a couple of small villiages and we end up having a break at the next refuge – the prices are super steep and i only have a small orangina! It’s a nice place but we want to stay at the refuge close to the Col.

View from the road up to the refuge

The gravel road get’s steeper and it’s hard climbing, but we make it to the refuge, i’m a bit ahead so i order beer for the both of us. it’s only fitting with nice big beer after the long climb, in the sunshine, it tastes so damn good!

The English team is here! And we chat with them, and have another beer 😉 Malcolm wanted to bivy up here, but i’ts not allowed, we are stil in the Vanoise National Park!
There’s a group of soldiers here, i think that are up here for winter training, they seem to be be of different nationality?

We share the room with the English team and a couple of other hikers, it nice and cosy. all the lights are off in the refuge – to save power i guess, so we are all running around with headlamps, I have dinner and a shower before heading off to bed.

The view from the refuge…
to one side

I fall asleep right after putting in my earplugs!