Sunday, September 12, 2010


Continuing the adventure from last weekend (recap: Friday evening British guy and I cycled up from Grenoble to a campsite near Chamechaude to meet some friends for a weekend of hiking/hanging out). Saturday morning we woke up and because this is France we had fresh croissants and delicious coffee. The night before had been unseasonably cold (or maybe probably I'm just a pansy) and the sun spilling over into the valley was a very welcome sight. For some reason British guy and I had only brought one blanket. So I stole it and made him sleep outside in the wet grass. He's British. They like suffering stoically. It's a national pastime. Don't believe a word I say. He slept in the tent, but because he has this extremely endearing habit of STEALING ALL OF THE COVERS we had to fold the blanket over in such a way that he wouldn't be able to steal it and leave me to freeze to death. The end result is that I was warm, but completely unable to move in my blanket straitjacket. So the following night I made him sleep in the grass.

After enjoying some delicious coffee and soaking up some much needed sunshine, everyone loaded up into the cars and headed to Col de Porte (pretty much the base of Chamechaude) for a morning hike. I tried to sneak into one of the cars, but British guy caught me and forcibly put me on my bike and made me cycle the 5 kilometers up to Col de Porte.

View Larger Map

Because I was still kind of sleepy and stiff from not being able to move all night, I let him beat me to the top.

The hike was absolutely beautiful. Except for when we got to the top and I realized how high we were and looked over the drop off and remembered that I'm actually kind of scared of heights. So I made a spectacle of myself using a cable (no pictures of that unfortunately) to ascend the last few meters to the top. My hands were sweaty and I was certain that I was going to fall to my death. Fortunately, I didn't. I should note that Chamechaude is highly accessible and there were plenty of people up there who were about 3 times my age and half my fitness level and they were scrambling around like mountain goats.

Chamechaude, 2010

We hung out at the top for a bit, had lunch and just enjoyed the view. Then comes the exciting part. We decided to head down via an alternate route. However none of us really knew the best route down from the other side so we explored a series of small trails traversing alongside the mountain until we came to what appeared to be a dead end. With a cliff below us and a drop off in front of us, the best way down didn't seem immediately clear. After some deliberation we split up. I followed British guy back up the mountain a little ways. And when I say follow, I mean that I basically crawled back up the mountain after him while he jumped around like a chamoix. But in the end, British guy was right (he usually is, but I don't like to admit it very frequently) and his way back was the fastest. We ascended for a few minutes and then found a trail that led us back to the main trail. We ran down the rest of the way. Again I let British guy beat me. It's good for his self-esteem. Also he can then take super awesome pictures of me while I'm running down. Like this one: 

Chamechaude, 2010 is the campground we stayed at. 

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