GR5 Day 14 - Faster Than Lightening
Pralognan - to fly central off the path above Modane
So we survived the thunderstorm, the tent performed okish considering the downpour of biblical proportions, but we do have some leaks that will need attending too, and it did take a couple of hours to get everything dry and packed away. So it was an afternoon departure, but we planned to only do half a day walking so no worries.
That's the thing about planning stuff it never quite works out the way you thought. Now as the weather was predicted to take another turn for the worse we ( I ) decided that it would be a much better idea to get over the highest point ( Col de Chaviere- 2796m ) today rather than doing it in the rain forecast for tomorrow.
Jac I have to say despite her bravado at last nights thunderstorm in a tent, was much more reticent to the idea, this was probably due to the huge grey thundery clouds hanging around at the top, but after a little heated discussion, and a little white lie I told Jac, "err I think someone is behind us so it's fine".... I got my own way :-D, and we continued up.
It was a stunning walk, made all the more dramatic by the brooding skies, we trekked across patches of snow, over many false summits to eventually arrive at a sheer wall of slate and shale ... How the #uck do we get over that. After many attempts, ( a running leap is not advised ) we found a path of sorts and the walking got easier.
Eventually we summited, hurrah, and then it happened, the clap of thunder and a flash of lighting in the distance.
Now one place you do not want to be in storm is at the top of the highest col on the whole GR5 so a pretty sharpish descent took place.
Down and down and down some more until our little legs could do no more, we were going to go all the way to Modane which would have been the full walk (not bad considering it was supposed to be a half day). Instead after we out ran the storm, we gave up and we found a flatish pitch by the path. Unfortunately this turned out to be fly central but we were desperate and it was late so we pitched for the night. We feasted on boil in the bag hikers fair, mmmmmm (not) from the safety of the tent whilst the flies and other woodland insects tried to get in.
Things I have learnt:
Jac despite her plodding nature on this walk, can suddenly turn into Usain Bolt at the sniff of a thunderstorm, and will quite literally fly down the mountain, leaving dust and me in her wake. This is quite funny considering we have had a few small tiffs about me going too fast downhill.
What you should not do:
When flying down a mountain (Jac) one should not turn to look at a particular stunning waterfall without stopping as you will sprain your ankle and it is also not clever to do it twice!
Never camp in fly infested fields, even if exhausted, it does not make for a relaxing evening. Flies even though they provide handy protein snacks, they still do not enhance the flavour of a dehydrated trek meal .... I know hard to believe!