Ascent: 925 m

Descent: 472 m

Distance: 17 km

Time on trail: 6:30 – 14:30


I woke up to the sound of rain drops. Damn, last night was so moist and cloudy bringing obviously bad weather. I wanted to stay in my tent but as it was just the second day, I put my rain gear on and hardened myself. The girls were still sleeping in their tent when I left the meadow.


After climbing couple of hours I reached a grassy shoulder of Mt.Grange and big-scale mountain scenery. According to the guidebook one could see even the Mt.Blanc massif but unfortunately the low clouds hid most of the view. I felt slightly desperate looking those big giants in very miserable weather, the hike felt at that moment as an awfully huge task.


I couldn’t take fotos as it was raining harder and harder. Paths became slippery and visibility dropped. I cursed navigating in the mist but fortunately the way to Chésery was not steep or dangerous. However, I soon gave up the idea of camping as everything was wet and closer to the refuge de Chésery snow covered the ground.

But I made it there and signed in to the refuge for the night. Owners didn’t speak english but I was able to make myself understood with the little German I know. I shared the evening with a family, a middle-aged couple and a group of five French ladies. The evening was long for me as no one really spoke english and it felt like the dinner would never be served. The dormitory was cold as a cellar but I went to sleep early, hoping for a better weather for the next day.

4 thoughts on “GR5 – DAY 2, to CHÉSERY

  1. Looks good; thinking of doing it next year, but would you recommend staying in refuges rather than camping? Your advice would be appreciated

  2. Hi Graham,

    That’s a tough question and I think it’s all about your personal liking. For me it was a clear choise that I try to camp whenever it’s possible as it’s cheaper, gives more freedom and is more outdoorish. And I have good gear for camping.

    But, the majority of people use the excellent network and services of the refuges, especially all the locals. You can travel much lighter too in that way.

    Was it difficult to camp on GR5? The answer is no. Almost all the villages have a campsite and you’ll find good spots for wild camping higher in the mountains. In France, with a small tent you can bivouac after 7pm and leave early in the next morning. Only exception are the national parks, for example in Vanoise on GR55 variant camping is forbidden. So on few occasion camping needs some advanced planning. But keep following my blog and these GR5 posts and you’ll get more info!

    Also good trip reports for planning your GR5:



    I hope this helps and feel free to ask more.

  3. Hi have just found your site and your GR5 trip reminded me of my walk on the GR5 back in 2003. An amazing experience and a great walk.i shall look forward to your future posts so i can daydream about trails once walked.

  4. Hi Mike!

    Good to have a fellow GR5 hiker here! Truly amazing adventure and I’m glad if I can bring you some nice memories. Please leave a comment if things looked very different now than back in 2003.

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