Our great friend Laney had planned a few days with us so we collected her from St Girons on Tuesday for a few days hiking. Our initial plan was to go to Spain walking hut to hut but all the refuges were full so we changed plans.
Arrival day we managed drinkies outside and dinner around the fire inside which was a fab start.
Next day was an early start as we thought Laney might like the lovely loop to Pic Trois Seigneurs. Perfect walking weather hazy sunshine so not too hot for the ups. It is a stunning walk with a steep start followed by a lovely ridge line up and down to the final push to the summit for lunch.
Clouds were building and storms were forecast for later that day but they seemed to vanish as we descended and by the time we got to the lake perfect dipping conditions for Laney and myself.
From there a steep 30 mins descent before back gently through the woods and back up hill to the col. Back to the van just as the clouds came down and mizzle saturated, perfect timing.
Forecast was not good for the next day so we decided to potter about, book train tickets for Laney, go mushrooming and brambling. Wild garlic mushies and cheeses for lunch before a short stroll up to Cirque D’Anglade in the pm in the mist.
Adventure was a 2 days trip to Mt Valier which we have done before but we wanted to try another loop with Laney. BIG day with a lot of up over 1600m. A truly stunning day hike up to the hut through such varied terrain, gorgeous woodland and cascades to start with on steep terrain. This then opened out into meadow up to the first cabane. Another steep section to take us up towards the second cabane and then a more gentle stroll up to Col Barlonguere with great views of Etang Long below. Late lunch at col around 215pm.
Again clouds were rolling in and storms were forecast so we had a quickish lunch before making our descent to the lakes. The reflections into the clear blue blue water was just amazing. Saw a couple of marmots too.
Etang Long has a few exposed bits with cables to help you along the way and then down to Etang Rond which is steep and scrambly in places, so quite challenging for Laney. The clouds seemed to have disappeared which was great so I had a quick chilly dip in Etang Rond before the final few hundred metres back up hill to the refuge Estagnous at 2245m.
Due to the forecast on Saturday there was only 15 of us in the hut which was great. Drinkies well deserved and great fodder as well. Super nice guardians there.
The night was howling winds and by the time we woke it was mizzle and clouds swirling in and out. Initial plan was to climb Mt Valier and then head out but we opted to just trundle out as weather was pretty rubbish. Good call as weather got worse. Steady descent back to the van with some tricky steeper bits in wet conditions, saw Laney on her derriere a few times. Just in one piece by the end with a slightly bad wrist for Laney from one of her tumbles.
Instead of wraps we thought lunch in Seix would be a better option so stopped and had menu de jour of aubergine/mozzarella and then guinea fowl in an orange and rosemary sauce which was lovely.
Last night for Laney so we opened the bubbles she had brought us, garlic wild mushies around the fire with chinese chequers as the game we are all enjoying and then a veggie curry before early to bed for an early start tomorrow to get Laney to St G for her train to Cannes.
Fabulous quality few days with Laney proper catch up time. Just a shame weather in the evenings was not great so no meals on the terrace. See you next year Laney with Hoggster in tow!!!!