When we were preparing our trip to the Alps in July (which becomes a good tradition), I’ve already knew it would be an all-out effort. There were so many places to visit in four days that no doubt we would be exploded at the end, especially taken into consideration that most of these places were hardly accessible spots in highlands. Nevertheless we looked forward to have a deep breath, disconnect of all devices and stay face-to-face with nature. The lucky thing about our couple is that Julien enjoys the process of hiking as much I enjoy its result – a beautiful view and great photos. Both of us are get-up-and-go type of person, so we always have plenty of adventures together and make unexpected discoveries. I usually have a to-do list (or rather a “to-see” list) for each trip but we often do spontaneous things and follow our inspiration of the moment.
For this year’s trip we had an ambitious plan to watch the sunrise over a mountain lake. This plan required some additional organization: if we wanted to be on the spot by sunrise, we had to sleep in a refuge high in the mountains. It would be the first time for both of us, so we felt quite excited.
Finally in the French Alps, on the altitude of 1900m, we unpack, have a rest after five hours drive from Paris and start by a short hiking to the Roc of Wind (le Rocher du Vent), on 2329m. Last summer we visited the beautiful artificial lake Roseland and I thought it would be great to see it from above reaching some viewpoint in the mountains. After a bit of research on Internet, we identified a two hours hike to the Roc of Wind offering a panoramic view not only to the lake Roseland but also to the second artificial lake in the area, Gittaz.
The hike begins in a pastoral valley and continues with a gentle trail up to the top. It was a perfect choice of the first “warming up” hike – not too challenging, not too long but finishing by a stunning view! The Roc of Wind is aptly named because the wind blows there non-stop. We hardly noticed it though, fascinated by the breathtaking scene: the sun’s rays burst through the clouds and lighted up the patches of landscape. Good start of our Alpine adventure!
Next day things get more serious: we drive to Villaroger to start a 5 hours hike. First hour we move up in the forest protecting us against the summer heat, then the forest becomes sparser, we pass the tree line and continue on the rocky trail. After three hours of climbing, we reach a lonely refuge on the top overviewing the mountains. Open to the four winds, this place was impressive in its austere simplicity and I couldn’t help imagining how it must have been to live there, so close to the clouds and so far away from civilization…
Our third hiking is the hardest but also the most passionate one: up to the refuge Deffeyes, in search of the the mountain lake in the Italian Alps… Will share with you the whole story of this hike in my next article;)