At the well-known col of #platers you can not only ride brisk but also walk beautiful and even easy, admiring various mountain landscapes and biotopes. The mythical mountain La Meije, glaciers, Sentier des crevasses, refuge de l'Alpe and a valley with Tibetan allure.
We drive from the French Queyras via Guillestre and Briançon to the col de Lautaret, about 2067 meters high. From here, oddly enough, an almost flat hiking trail departs in the flanks of the Combeynot, making the turn to the refuge de l'Alpe 2077 metres.
Sentier des crevasses
It's the #pathway des Crevasses, sounds dangerous, but is harmless provided you're not afraid of heights. You will also get acquainted with different landscapes and biotopes. The lush vegetation of the moist nutrient-rich slope with low alder bushes and the large leaves of the Glore style and Alpine sorrel, alternates with the low-food acidic soil and a heath-like biotope, mainly consisting of leatherberry and blueberry.. Further on, around the bend, you reach the gorge of the Romanche, this river has its origin here at the glaciers of La Grande Ruine. Part of the path now runs through the black slate along the ruisseau du Colombie. In the eroding slate little green can maintain itself, yet there are small plants that hide behind a larger boulder or make long, fine roots that simply glide along with the rubble. Thyme species and Alpine Snapdragon for example. In addition to all the small plants, we look at the hanging glacier of the mythical Meije on the other side of the gorge.. We stare at the other side for a while, the ice towers so close and yet unattainable far away.
Refuge de l'Alpe de Villar d'Arêne
You continue to walk, slowly you arrive again in the Alpine meadows, large amounts of faded but still impressing yellow gentians flank the path. You arrive at the refuge, from here you look deep into the wide stream valley towards La Grande Ruine and the 2 high refuges Le Clot du Pavé and Adéle Planchard. The valley lures, calls, beckons, but we cannot answer that call today.
After our afternoon picnick, along with chickens and dogs from the refuge, we descend without chickens with the GR 54 to Le Pied du Col. A sturdy zigzag descent with lots of mountain streams and waterfalls. Le pied du col at 1700 meters. A small calculation teaches us that we have to climb about 300 meters to get back to the motorhome and to the col du Lautaret. Inge and Karin choose to walk down to Villar d'Arêne, where we can pick them up later. Laura, Hilde, David and I walk along the mountain meadows near the motorway to the col. Not the most beautiful part of this hike but peaceful, so walking along the mown undulating meadows. We already see the motorhome, cross another swampy area with strong smelling willows (painkiller on our way) and just before the turf another field with master root and anise-scented creamy chervil. An aromatic conclusion of this trip.
Info La Meije.
La Meije is not the highest but the steepest mountain in the French National Park of the Ecrins. The mountain has 3 peaks, the highest point is called Grand Pic de la Meije and is 3984 m high, is also called 'le doigt de Dieu' because of its threatening, warning finger shape. The first ascent of La Meije was completed on 16 August 1877 by Boileau de Castelnau and Pierre Gaspard.
Info refuge of l'Alpe de Villar d'Arêne.
An easy access mountain hut located between the mountain meadows at 2079 meters. Open in summer from 2 June to 11 September. Administrator: KAINCZ André 05320 LES FREAUX. tel.: 04.76.79.93.44. Tel. Refuge: 04.76.79.94.66. GPS coordinates: N/4985.867 E/293.809.
Sources and references
- http://inpn.mnhn.fr/isb/zone/znieff/930020383/tab/commentaires, list of plants at the Lautaret
- Spicy mountain tours with maurice godefridi http://sites.google.com/site/k