Saturday, September 17, 2011

Maritime Alps Tour Day 14: Sentiero Pier Giorgio Frassati

After a decent breakfast we're on our way. We drive up the road a bit to start out hike at the Sorgenti della Maira (1646m); we're following the Sentiero Pier Giorgio Frassati for most of the day. The path leads us up the side of the valley, up, up, under trees on a nice, very colorfully marked path, up until we hit the ridge above the Lagho Visaisa (1959m).
No shortage of markers on this path.

Further up the the valley along the left hand side towards what looks like a dead end of cliff walls. At the "last minute", the path turns off to a saddle leading out onto a broad, green, flattish high plain, past the Biv. Bonelli, along the plain, scaring marmots the whole way.

Onwards and up to the Colle della Munie (2531m). Nice views down into France, where there is also a broad, green, flattish high plain. Along the ridge a bit and then we deviate from the official path to stay on the ridge and follow a highly used path, past the Col Aguya, climbing, climbing tot he peak of the Mt. Soubeyran (2701m). Fantastic views all around, definitely convincing us that we need to spend a few more days in the area. We have a nice 10-15 minute block with the peak to ourselves and then leave it as the next pair comes up. Solitude on an easy peak with great views... what a luxury!

View from Mt. Soubeyran

Onwards, downwards, along the rim of the valley until we reach the Pas del Fea (2539m). Down a bit more to the old military installation, where we do a lunch break out of the wind and then head on around the bowl, descending the whole way. Down, down, down we go. Along the way we see clear traces up to the saddle of the very attractive Mt. Viraysse; Greg toys with the idea of doing that one too, but it's too late in the day for such games and the weather seems to be heading in a bad direction.
Bowl under the Mt. Viraysse
Onward and downward! We catch sight of a hermeline in summer coat, but the shuy little thing doesn't let us get close enough (or stand still enough) for a picture. Down, down, down, past the Grange de Pause where they are gathering their sheep somewhere out of sight (we could hear them for quite a ways, but never saw a single sheep), and then down tot he road and back to our starting point (with a few nice corner cuts along the way to keep things interesting).

Very nice day in a beautiful area. It's very, very nice to be hiking without the heavy packs on. Reassuring somehow that we are still somewhat fit! :-)

Back at the hotel we take a quick nap and wake to rain... yes the weather was heading in a bad direction.

Approximate stats: 12.7 km loop, 1060m up.

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