The Vercors High Plateaux

The ground was really uneven but with a one person tent, I managed to place it in a way where my body would mold to the ground and not the other way around (thanks Ray Jardine). We wanted to get up very early so we could hike in the cool morning air, the plateaux offering little relief from the sun. It’s a 2 hours hike up before we reach some kind of flat ground. As we get close to the cliffs, the views are more and more stunning and we also hear stones rolling down. Turns out, some ibex are fighting above us on a very narrow ledge. Quite impressive!

We did half of the climb but it’s now time to get the final very steep one before reaching the plateaux. I am repeating myself but holy sh*** what a view!! We hike through stony meadows, stones that are so polished that they look like sculptures, here and there, I see suspicious looking pits. I went to check out every single one of them, hoping to see a cave entrance…

It’s lunch time and we have such a huge picnic that it’s time for a nap that will make another big climb later in the afternoon more difficult especially when two hikers appear out of nowhere and run up the mountain with huge backpacks.

Once up the the mountain, we can see the Grand Veymont and the Mont Needle very well. The views won’t leave us until we have to go down in the valley the following day.

We run into few day hikers, some backpackers. One of them appear to be wearing shoes the size of baby whales. I hope the poor guy will be able to finish the hike. They looked quite painful.

huge pit!!

As we pass Marpollet Cairn, I find bones of the ground with still some blood on them. Looks like a sheep didn’t make it home recently. A fall, a wolf? Who knows. We get in sight of the shelter located next to a sheep house. The Plateaux are known for their lack of water and the stream is a km away. We had to hike along a huge pit (yes, that made my day) and below the cliffs. G took a shower with likely the best view possible and I did the same. The stream was in a small hole in the cliff and closed off by a lid to prevent animals to reach inside. If too much water, it would get out by a small hole in the lid.

home for the night

shower time

On the way back to the shelter, I run across the two young guys that run up the mountain and then two more backpackers that arrived at the shelter, Andy and Nina that we will spend some time with that day and the following.  The skies are clear and the Milky Way is out in full force!


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