* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Alpine trekking

Alpine Trekking 1

Every year, our church holds a fall retreat at the camp we volunteer to help keep nice up in the mountains.  One of the annual activities is a fairly substantial hike on one of the numerous official trails.  As I belonged to a hiking club for a few years as part of our village activities, I look forward to participating in this scheduled activity.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been a very sporty person, and every year I keep getting older while there are always plenty of younger people, so it gets harder and harder to keep up.  But I continue to plug along, and I thought I’d share some of the views I captured at this year’s event last month.

Do feel free to click on any photo you’d like to see enlarged for a bit more detail!

Alpine Trekking 2
The Caires de la Madone and Mont Ponset
This was our starting point, and all the cars proved there were a number of other hikers we would probably come across.

Fortunately, we were not planning on climbing up these particular mountains!

Alpine Trekking 3
The hiking group of 2016
This is our group this year.  You can see it includes a wide range of ages.

For those of you who enjoy seeing maps and trail signs, here is our route and destination marker. 

While they expected it to take 1:45, it took me a full two hours!

Alpine Trekking 4
The trail map for the Baisse des Cinq Lacs
Alpine Trekking 5
Estimated ETA, some take a little longer!

Alpine Trekking 6
Sanctuary of  La Madone de Fenestre

On the map, we started at this refuge, where the church symbol is, and we followed the trail clockwise about 4.5 miles, circling a mountain. 

This area has been some kind of refuge since Roman times.  It played an important role during the Middle Ages, as this was a major salt route between the coast and Italy. 

It has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt a number of times, because  humans like to try to change the course of history!

After we passed through the refuge, the trail became really steep.  It was mostly hard because all the sporty people managed to climb it really fast, and I didn’t.  I would have enjoyed that part more if I’d been able to take my time and been able to look around while I was climbing.  I did manage to capture a little of where we’d started from (base of the sunny area) and my surroundings. 

Alpine Trekking 7
Ponset Valley in front of the Cime de l'Agnellière
Alpine Trekking 8
The spikes of Mont Ponset

Finally, I reached the highest point of this trail, at 7660 feet, just above the lunch destination.  We’d climbed about 1650 feet.  It was a relief to see the trail start back downwards!

Alpine Trekking 9
The pass between two valleys
Alpine Trekking 10
The Five Lakes of Prals

Alpine Trekking 11
Lunch under Mont Neiglier
Alpine Trekking 12
The Alpine Queen made it!

Once we got to the lakes, at least we had a really pretty area to rest and have lunch!

Alpine Trekking 13
The pass between Mont Caval and the spires of Mont Neglier
Alpine Trekking 14
Heading for the Plains

This is the view looking back as we carried on. 

On the left, you can see the pass we crossed, while the lakes are just behind those rocky lumps in the middle.

Alpine Trekking 15
A rocky formation on Mont Caval
Alpine Trekking 16
Heading back to the Sanctuary La Madone de Fenestre

This is the lump of earth we hiked around, and the route back on this side of it was much more gentle!

Alpine Trekking 17
More solid than stepping stones

I’ve done this particular trail before, and every time I’ve really loved this little bridge. 

There are a number of little streams bubbling over the rocks that are so pretty, but this one is large enough it needs a bridge.

Sometimes I’ve been fortunate enough to capture some of the wildlife.  I saw this chamois from a distance up on a cliff, but another year I came across a whole group of them.

Alpine Trekking 18
A grand chamois, a goat antelope
Alpine Trekking 19
Source of shammy leather

Alpine Trekking 20
Such a sad face
Alpine Trekking 21
Beautiful texture
I thought you might like to see a few examples of some weathered wood that made fairly nice outdoor decor!

Alpine Trekking 22
I’m so handsome!

Our route started out near a dairy farm, and the cows apparently have the freedom to roam at will all over the mountains. 

Another year, I captured this steer with his beautiful bell.  You’ll just have to imagine how pretty the soft clanging is as they move around. 

Alpine Trekking 23
Queen of the Road

As is also quite common, they think the road is also their territory, so it was no surprise to come across a group of them as we headed back to the camp. 

I missed the shot of this grand dame bumping against the car as we passed her, but perhaps I’ll capture it the next time!


  1. You are truly amazing and an inspiration to everyone...especially me!!

  2. What a fabulous place and you did that in two hours! You are fabulous and end up looking fresh and cute, not hot, sweaty and exhausted. You're not getting older, you're getting better!


Blogger seo tips