Daily Archives: July 23, 2007

Day 4 Haut Asco to Auberge U Vallone.

Wednesday 20/06/07

Although we slept in a nice bed I didn’t get too much sleep as I was worried about today’s walking. The guide books says ” this is the day many walkers dread, indeed  some walkers have been known to slip away down the road rather than face the Cirque de la Solitude.” GR20 094

There was never any question of me slipping away down the road but that did not stop me from feeling a little scared.

We were up early as we had breakfast booked for 6am, but that was not to be as by 6.30 the hotel had not opened for breakfast.

So we decided to leave with out our breakfast, we had stocked up with bread and cheese the night before and had some chocolate too so would be ok.

I don’t work well with out breakfast so it was a very slow start made even worse as I was very worried about what lay ahead at the top of this long slow climb.

The last half hour was a very steep and rocky climb to a  gap known as the Col Perdu, it took usGR20 093 21/2 hours to reach this gap. 

I remember taking a look down into the Cirque and thinking “shit” what am I doing here.

It was nothing like walking you had to climb down to the bottom using chains at the hardest parts… I shook like a leaf all the way down and Geoff even had to swear at me …lol. one false move and I felt I would be dead. so you can imagine my relief and delight when I finally made it to the bottom in one piece.

We thought this was the end of the cirque only to find that after a small walk we then had to climb out the other end with the aid of chains and a ladder at one point. Must say climbing out was far easier than climbing down.

It took a total of 3 hours to get into and out of the Cirque, an experience I will never forget.GR20 116

We then had a long descent down to the refuge Tighjettu but we decided to carry on for another half hour to reach Auberge U Vallone as we had heard the rock pools were to die for.

We finally reached the refuge 7 hours after setting out.

We decided to use the Tent tonight and pitched it right next to the river and a fantastic rock pool where we spent the whole afternoon swimming and sunbathing.

( I think I had been right not to carry on yesterday and I think I just maybe heard Geoff say that the Cirque was indeed a hard day but i don’t suppose I will hear him say it again )

Day 3.. Refuge de Carozzu to Haut Asco

Tuesday 19/06/07

Woke early today and the guardian had left us out a breakfast (6 euro )the coffee was most welcome.

Not really sure what to expect from today as there was a lot of talk about the spasmata slabs.

we left at 6.25 am

After a steep decent we came to the spasimata suspension bridge . something IGR20 052 had been looking forward too.Glad to say at that time we were the only walkers around so there was no hurry and we could cross it one at a time.It was great fun but did wobble and sway quite a bit.

Next came the slabs, nothing like I expected infact it took me a while to realize I was actually walking across the much talked about slabs.The give away was the cables attached to some of the rock.Care had to be taken but as the weather was good we had no problems.

We then had a steep and rocky ascent until we got a great view of the ski station at Haut Asco.

This is when Geoff got his brain wave…. instead of doing the very long and rocky decent down to the ski station he wanted to carry on and do the next days walking as well. This maybe would have been a good idea apart from the fact that the next day was The Cirque de la solitude.

On one hand I could see his point, as by carrying on we would not have to drop down then climb back up tomorrow morning but on the other hand as I didn’t know what to expect from the cirque (and was quite worried about it )I wanted to be nice and fresh for it after a good nights sleep in the hotel.

So I insisted we carry on down, although I was real mad at myself and wish I felt different about it.

It was a long and very rocky descent to Haut Asco I questioned myself over and over again wondering if we should have carried on.

We finally arrived at Haut Asco at 12.20 .. 6 hours after setting off.

Had a room booked at the Hotel chalet so enjoyed a great hot shower.

My legs ached a little and I had hot spots on the bottom of my big toes.