Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Wednesday 25 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - A Stunning Start

The view back to Menton from Col du Berceau

Plan: Camp site in Menton to Rif Patrick Gambino - 14 km, 1500 metres ascent, 7 hours.

Actual: Hot Camp Site to Camping outside Rif Patrick Gambino
15 km, 1550 metres ascent 8.25 hours including 2 hours breaks.

Best bit: Shady lunch spot (only 24C) after a hot climb (min 30C)

An excellent mountain day after a hot night (neither sleeping bags nor their liners were needed) despite starting on a beach by the Med.

Good paths, well signed, got us up to Col du Berceau (not on our map) for lunch at over 1000 metres, high above the distant Cote d'Azur.

Here, in a lovely shady spot with fine views, we met three Frenchmen, the only walkers seen all day.

After a short descent we left the GR52 path and headed up to the border and the lovely, well graded 'Balcons de la Cote d'Azur' path.

We left this briefly to bag the 1380 metre summit of Monte Grammondo. Graham Illing (who won't read this) would be impressed; others who do read it may just shake their heads...

After recording our feat in the visitors book and optimistically noting our destination as Saas Fee, we went back down to the balcony path. This led through lovely woodland (we could have been on the path from Gradbach to Lud's Church) down to the Rifugio, outside which we are camped.

Here we found our first water since leaving Menton, and a friendly guardian who poured us cups of mint tea and supplied biscuits within seconds of our arrival. We are his only guests tonight, but he won't charge us for camping, and we want to cook some of our own weighty provisions, so we are trying to boost his coffers by consuming his supplies of Birra Moretti.


So, a fabulous day, despite having drippingly lugged 15 kilo rucksacks up 1500 metres under clear blue skies and a sun that beat down relentlessly at over 30C. In the days ahead we will have fond memories of this heat.

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1 comment:

Alan Sloman said...

15 kilos! Lightweights!

I am bloody envious of you two - cold beers, wonderful walking.

Well - youve written it down now - you have got to get there!