The Vanoise. French Alps. We walk from refuge du Rosuel to Les Lanches and climb through Les Grandes Baraques to the 'Lac de l'Etroit' and then descend to the 'Pont Romano'.
We leave from our refuge Rosuel and walk down the flowering meadows for a change. Now is the time to enjoy the white birch claw, the yellow big rattler, the esparcette and the pink viper root. Also the black rapunzel and of course the morning star, how could it be otherwise, is flowering yellow in the morning.
Larch forests and Martagonlily
At Les Lanches via an abandoned lead and silver mine we climb into the slope forest. We are here at 1524 meters and want to go to a lake Lac de l'Etroit at 2166 meters. The larch forests here are of an enchanting beauty and they conceal a special vegetation. The rod, but also the herb, liver flower and beetle orchis can be found here. Higher in the slope, martagonlily, dark columbine and boxwood wing flower bloom. Even higher and more humid grows massively Adenostyles, a sturdy plant with a cooling leaf. I call it sweat leaf because it serves as a refreshing sweat cloth for me, others call the plant the bald glandular style. Yes, that's what you get when an alien plant doesn't have an official Dutch name. We then come up with a name ourselves during the steadily stiff rise.
Meanwhile we arrived at Les Grandes Baraques at 1992 meters just past the tree line and thus back in the mountain meadows. The weather is very variable, overcast and windy. A little more climbing and we'll get to the lake. We're at altitude, looking 600 meters down at Nancroix. Picnic by the lake is a matter of course, the bread and the beaufort cheese as well.
The water in the lake is very high, because both the St. John's wort and the kratzthistle are in the water and that is certainly not their natural biotope. On the other side of the lake it is better not to sit, where the boulders of the Pointe de Friolin roll down.
At Croix Bozon descend to Pont Romano
After dinner we climb a bit higher to Croix Bozon, then a whimsical descent follows. First in white rocks and then again on the now slippery forest path. After the rain shower, the tree roots have become treacherously smooth. Fortunately, the larch needles and our sturdy shoes provide some grip. Descend, descend so but this time carefully. Even now the fleecy buds of the Martagonlily, the dark columbine and the onberry guide us down. Descending past ruisseau Nant Benin until Pont Romano (1430). Here, 'le torrent de Ponturin' plunges its water inexorably into the depths. The mountain river has been flowing here for centuries, but how long will the glaciers melt away?
Unlike the river, we rest for a while. I even drink some water from a gutter, rinse my head in a puddle, and then the last few miles upstream, back to Rosuel. We cross some beautiful factory ruins 'ancienne mines de plombes', also the mansion Le Palais of the former factory directors and the mining school.
And then the circle for today is round again. Now, yes, round. At least we're back at our starting point. Back off. Did we learn anything today? Has our body been listening? The blood flows, the muscles are floundering. Tomorrow is another day.
Profile of a plant on the way: Martagonlily, Turkish lily/Lilium martagon
The Turkish lily grows on moist and nutrient-rich soil mainly in the slope forests. By nature, this lily occurs near mountain streams. As early as the 16th century, this plant was known as a medicine. Dodoens wrote: 'Dese bloeme is called Hemerocallis in Griecx. In Latin Lilium sylvestre. Until some places in the Aposign Affodillus/ and for the straight Asphodelus not sunder great error he ghebruyckt. In Hoochduytsch Goldtwurtz und Heidnischblumen. Here in land Lilies of Calvarien/ Heyden's blooming and wild Lilies. At Franchois Lys sauvage.” Calvarielelies, a beautiful name for a plant that accompanies the pleasant agony of mountain hikers.
According to Dodoens, 'Die root van desen Heydens flowers ghedroncken iaecht off water andbloet. Tselve does zy oock from under gheset. The leaves persuade andversaechten that sweerende with soch gheladen breasts/and those swillinghen der eyen daer on gheleyt. The roots andleaves of these flowers are good on the burnt andscored members gheleyt'. It seems as if this plant grows in the place where it is needed: to relieve eye inflammations, burnt members and other ailments of walkers and mountain dwellers.