Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Friday, 1 August 2008

Friday 1 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 38 - Grey Paradiso

Large Flowered Leopardsbane (Doronicum grandiflorum) with a Marsh Fritillary

Plan: Day 39 - Rif Citta di Chivasso to Rif Benevolo - 12 km, 900 metres ascent, 6.5 hours.

Actual: Camping Piccolo Paradiso to Camping Pont Breuil (1960 metres):
20 km, 1200 metres ascent, 7.3 hours including 1.7 hours breaks.

Best bit: Strolling along the Sentiero del Re belvedere in the sun.

Here at Pont the English are not a novelty. We are camped next to Mark and Richard. Mark works in the same field as I used to. They have been up Gran Paradiso, 4061 metres, today. They started at 4 am but look remarkably fresh. Your colleague in Manchester, Mark, by the name of Richard Evans, would be most jealous of your achievement today. Call him and pass on best wishes from Sue and Martin!

Our own walk was puny in comparison.

Gran Paradiso National Park is a mecca for tourists. Roads wind up the hillsides. Giant electricity pylons march across the mountains. Powerful motor bikes and middle aged French people with mountain guides lurk outside the Rifugios barred to us because we couldn't book months in advance.

The flowers are sparser here, more Lake District than Alps, with cotton grass and rosebay willowherb featuring strongly.

It rained today. I got one leg into its waterproof sleeve before realising it was the usual hoax and reverting to t-shirt and shorts. All the people in ponchos smiled ruefully as we passed them, knowing that they looked silly.

Lisa waved us off this morning, then we were alone on the excellent Sentiero Videsott for a three hour ascent to 2500 metres. This lovely thin well graded path over open ground - well, it had about 20 metres of alder bushes just to remind us! - led to Sentiero del Re, a well built contouring path where we met the first of today's many day walkers.

Up here field gentians made a welcome prolific appearance, joining houseleeks, clovers, rock roses, buttercups, harebells, leopardsbane, saxifrage, stonecrop, yarrow and more (comparing well with the Lake District, actually).

We remarked on two nearby chamois looking like fine specimens, then came across a dead youngster.

Well supplied today, we could afford stops for cake and stops for GORP (chocolate - double lait müesli crisp - scrumptious).

The day grew greyer. Few photos were taken. But the walk down to Pont was on a very good path, we are on an excellent camp site, and the beer is good, if exceedingly pricey!

Next Day
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's Cicerone here - Gillian Price (author of the GTA guidebook) passed on your blogspot to us to look at.

I have posted a link to your blog on the home page of our sister website

Hope you are having a fantastic time

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