DAY 10, LANDRY to VAL CLARET
Ascent: 1833 m
Descent: 569 m
Distance: 28 km
Time on trail: 6:00 – 15:30
I had time until the Vanoise information centre of Rosuel before making my mind about the route. I climbed through wooded slopes until I reached more open valley. Just before the refuge the trail was supposed to cross a river that ran in the middle of the valley but I noticed something was very wrong.
The current was much stronger and deeper than usual and the trail was blocked with a fence. The previous bridge had been some 20 minutes ago and I didn’t want to turn back. I tightened my stuff and took off my socks. Then I stepped carefully into an ice cold water. The water reached over my knees and I had to balance myself carefully and lean against it. The deep part was only about three meters wide and soon after that I was happily on the other side.
At the information centre an old lady told me that GR55 was walkable although plenty of snow still remained on trails. I decided to try to reach Modane in three days making the overnight stops at refuge Col du Palet, the village of Pralognan and finally at Modane. Pralognan and Modane both had campsites and I had heard that the owner of the first refuge will let you pitch your tent there.
But, Col du Palet was still under the firm grasp of winter and I had to keep moving forward.
An utterly out-of-the-place sight of Val Claret ski resort but that was my only hope for the night. The resort did not have anything for low budget campers so I gave up and booked myself a room in a hotel. It was an absurd experience to stand in the golden lobby, muddy, stinky and tired. But, I wanted to take everything out of this sudden suprise so I took a long shower, watched Bear Grylls on tv, had a buffet dinner, and finally, I took a bubble bath before falling asleep in clean white sheets. I set my alarm to 5 am as the next day would be even longer.