Chemin Claudius Bernard

Day 27 – Saturday, August 24 – Refuge de Miage to Refuge Nant Borrant – 14.5 km

For some reason I still had a hard time sleeping until after midnight. My heart was racing a bit anyway, and I didn’t take anything. I had some odd dreams again, but I did sleep. I had to get up twice to go to the bathroom, which I had to go outside for. The stars looked like they would have been amazing, except there was a light on a motion sensor for people going to the bathroom.

Breakfast was supposed to be from 7-8, but someone forgot to get up on time. They didn’t let us in until 7:25, so we were all standing around outside waiting. It was a good breakfast. Most of these places have some basic cornflakes, but I haven’t tried them. I figure I’ll do better the less processed I can go. The bread and preserves were great.

I was on my way before 8:30. Today was supposed to be fairly short and easy, but I was looking at the map and saw there was a variant up in the mountain that would be easy to do because it came out right by my next refuge. It was either that or a walk through the towns/cities in the valley, which I didn’t really want to do. I am running out of laundry soap, so hopefully I’ll make it the next few days.

My throat felt kind of dry during the night. I’ve been having a bit of a runny nose during the day. I sneezed this morning. I was really hoping it was allergies but now I’m starting to wonder if I’m getting sick. I really hope I can fight it off, because getting sick now would totally stink.

The day started with a short but steep climb out of the valley. The sun was just starting to break over the mountain. Before I came to the top of the hill, I could hear the song of the Alps; the dinging of cow bells.

Shortly over the ridge is another refuge, du Truc. I used the convenient composting bathroom. 

Then I started down. I didn’t take any prednisone this morning, just ibuprofen. Because it was a “shorter” day, I was hoping I could get by without it. I’m definitely going to take some tomorrow. Except, prednisone is also an immunosuppressant, so if I am fighting something, I probably shouldn’t take any. Arggg! Ugh. 

Looking at my map, I was hoping that the variant would keep me up in the mountain without having to go down first, but that was not the case. I had go down, almost all the way to the valley, before starting up again on the “Chemin Claudius Bernard.” There were even two options with this variant. They looked basically the same length and went to almost the same place, but one was a dotted line that went by a lake first. I decided to take the route by the lake.

It was pretty much just up, through some rocks along a stream. The lake was really nothing special to look at. It was a dirty, little lake. From here I continued on the path would connect me with the main variant. It was obvious once I started on it that it wasn’t used very often. It was definitely a smaller path. The thought crossed my mind that there was a reason for that, and the reason it was a dotted line on the map. That usually means it’s not a main path for a reason.

It led me up into a rock field below some small glaciers and waterfalls. I ended up having to cross 4 streams/rivers. The second one was the most exciting one I’ve had so far. I got a little wet crossing, but I didn’t fall in.

Then I realized there was a huge gash down the middle of the field, and I was going to have to cross it. It was classified as a torrent.

There was a huge cairn showing the place that was best for crossing. It was obviously not used often. The dirt was lose and scrambly. I managed to pick my way across, but it was definitely delicate. My feet got wetter than before, but I still didn’t fall in. Shortly after crossing, I connected with the main variant. There was a warning sign saying it was a delicate crossing across the torrent. They didn’t have this sign on the other side, but by then it would have been too late to turn around I suppose. I made it! I definitely like to choose adventures.

From here it was a nice walk around the side of the mountain, looking over the valley. I could see back through some of the mountains I had come through. I can see the crest I came down to go to Moede Anterne. After tomorrow I won’t be able to see it anymore.

It really was a lovely walk. I’m glad I came this way.

The path led to Refuge Tre la Tete, which has a stunning view. Really incredible. It was 1 pm, and I was almost tempted to get something to eat. I probably should have, but I just wasn’t hungry. 

I started down, down, down. My knees were doing a bit better, so it wasn’t too bad. It started out nicely enough, but then it turned into walking down a lot of rocks.

It was a little over an hour of going down, so not too bad.

I made it to the Refuge Nant Borrant right at 3 pm. I was the first in my room and got to choose my bed. I had a nice warm shower, and washed some clothes and hung them on the line.

I gargled with some Thieves oil. Hopefully it’s enough.  

Dinner was amazing. I was rooming with a group of French people, but they put me two other groups of English speakers for Dinner. As far as Refuges go, I’m really impressed with this one all the way around. It seems to be run very well, and they feed you VERY well.

The first course was soup and a huge chunk of cheese. I had three bowls. Then really, really good tartiflette and a sausage. This was also as much as you could possibly eat. They would have brought more if you wanted. Then apple tart for dessert. I ate so much.

There was an English couple who is doing the whole thing in 8 days, except she seems to be more into adventure sports than he does. I hope they make it. I got the impression she planned it without really considering his abilities.

The other group was three guys from New Zealand. They were walking backwards, so they only had one day left.

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