Walking the GR52 - Day 2

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Lac de Trécolpas looking towards the outlet from my camp site.
Date 2 Aug 2004 Weather A warm day with an afternoon thunderstorm
From just beyond col du Barn To Lac de Trécolpas
Difficulty 870 m ascent, 1,220 m descent, route moderate, navigation moderate

A wonderful sunny morning and a delightful descent through grassy forest and open glades, often beside the stream to the vacherie, then up a gravel road past an old hunting lodge to col de Salese. Near the top groups of walkers started to appear, turning to a torrent as I descended. The vacherie seems to be a big drawcard for picnickers. Down the valley the path following the torrent though a narrow gorge past the parking area and finally down the road to le Boreon, a small summer resort. Didn't seem to be much, just a dam and a hotel below the track. Turned left up past the gîte where I had an icecream - you really notice the heat and humidity below 1,500 to 1,600 metres. Then climbing steeply up a narrow lane to the forest path which sidled through mature forest across a steep slope.

Near the start of the track I saw what looked like a squirrel but was black with a white abdomen and rather than scampering up a tree, watched my progress from a low branch before moving a bit higher. Possibly a small carnivore like a pine marten.

Stopped for lunch at a small cascade. Later the track finally descended slightly to meet the main torrent, then turned north-east to follow the torrent steeply up through rocks and forest, past a large tumbling cascade, into the bowl of the Vallée du Haute Boreon. Quite a few day walkers around visiting the lake and the refuge half a kilometre to the north.

The storm started slowly, the odd big drop and later the first lightning, finally in full cry as I climbed the last 200 metres to lac Trécolpas. Guarded from below by sheer cliffs you wonder how the track reaches it. Through the last rocky gendarmes and an idyllic lake appears, a small island, grass and larches. I was contenplating crossing the col but chose not to as the storm, lightning was bouncing around the rocky ridges above, made it too dangerous.  Waited until the last people left before pitching the tent around 6:30 pm then an hour and a half of rain before it cleared. The storms always seem to clear around 8pm - I suspect they run out of energy as the sun sets.

All images and text in this web site are copyright (2004) J. M. Fowler.