Friday, September 09, 2011

Maritime Alps Tour Day 6: Baisse des Cinq Lacs -> St. Martin Vesubie

We're getting faster: today we are underway by 8:45 :-)

We bid farewell to the lakes and head toward the corner of the plain and the path that will take us to the Cime de la Valette de Prals. Nice path that more or less hugs a contour line until the end, where it takes us up to a saddle and then further to the peak (2496m) itself. From here we have the expected great views in all directions, including what would be the Mediterranean if it weren't covered by clouds.
View South from the Cime de la Valette de Prals
We enjoy the views for a bit and then head down to the ridge where we will spend a large part of the rest of the day. The path stays mostly on the contour connecting pass to pass along the ridge, going on the South side of the peaks. It's sunny, but there's a breeze that keeps it comfortable; nice walking conditions. From the passes we have good views in both directions and from the path itself we have views to to the South. We're surprisingly alone: we see a total of three people on the ridge all day.
A part of the ridge, the path is visible
Eventually the ridge ends at the Cime de la Palu (2132m), where we have a our first glimpse of the day's goal: St. Martin de Vesubie. After a lunch break in the shade and a last look to the South, we start our way down, down, down the end of the ridge towards town. We make pretty good time except for one minor wrong turn caused by wishful thinking, a soft level path, and some nice shade, but that only costs ~10 minutes. It's a long way down, but a nice path to do it on.

Eventually we hit town and start looking for a hotel for the night. The first place is booked out (at least they say they are)... the second place is booked out (at least they say they are)... worrying starts. The third place has a (very basic) room left, yay! Onto our next task: finding a new gas cylinder for the stove. The less said here about this search the better: there are no compatible cartridges to be found in town. Damn. The only solution seems to be to catch a bus back to Nice and get a new cylinder there. Nice... gas cylinders... haven't we heard this one before?

Approximate stats: 15.8 km, 546m up, 1865m down

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