K Fellfarers - the outdoor club for people in south Cumbria

Gallery 2019 - June

Greater spotted woodpecker
Kendal wall

Jan spent some time in the beautiful Outer Hebrides, and stayed a night on North Uist's highest hill Eaval.


Camping meet in Europe - Alpes-Maritime

Roger and Margaret, Mick and Clare, Colin and Val, Hugh and Angie, Tony and Sue, Norman and Jenny.

A lovely week of walking in the Mercantour National Park in the Alpes-Maritme department of Provence, complete with a heat wave at the end of it with temperatures as high as 38.

The week was based in St Martin-Vesubie, where the camp site was a 10 minutes walk from the village centre.
St Martin-Vesubie

Wednesday - Cime de Piagu

Jenny, Sue, Norman, and Tony arrived before the others, and took the opportunity to walk to the top of Cime de Piagu at 2338m. It gave magnificent views of the surrounding peaks, being as it was in between the valleys leading up to le Boreon and Madonna de Fenestre - see later.


Sue, Jenny, and Norman.
Tony, Jenny, Sue, and Norman

Thursday - le Conquet

Mick and Clare, and Colin and Val, had still to arrive, so the eight members already there drove up to the Col St Martin for a shortish afternoon walk.

The track led through the inevitable forest before breaking out onto ski pistes. Then onto the Col de Colmaine.

From the Col de Colmaine, the path topped out on le Conquet at 1,700m where there were remains of bunkers from WW2.

On top of the summit bunker, from left to right: Tony, Sue, Angie, Norman, Margaret, Roger, Jenny.

Then along a ridge with fine views and back to the cars.
Back at the camp site, the other four had arrived, so lots of catching up to be done.

Friday - Lacs de Prals

The days walk started with a drive up to la Madone de Fenestre, followed by a walk up a valley to five lakes, returning by the next valley

The start of the walk at about 1,800m
After walking up a thinly wooded valley, the path broke out into a open pasture with cows. Time to get the map and guide book out to see where we were.
After passing a beautiful carpet of gentians, the group had lunch at the five lakes of Lacs de Prals. Angie tried a paddle, but though warm enough for a swim (?) the bed of the lake was too muddy.
The wow factor came into play when topping the col, with the tops of next Wednesdays walk coming into view. Whilst three walked to the top of the adjoining peak, the rest of the group descended the valley by first crossing the small snow field.

The group walked down the Vallon de Ponset, where marmot were heard and chamois seen.

In the distance, the Col de Fenestre can be seen on the right of the central pointy peak, with the Pas des Ladres on its left

The end of an excellent first full days walk.

From left to right: Norman, Jenny, Hugh, Angie, Tony, Colin, Clare, Mick, Val, Sue.


Saturday - Nice

The weather forecast was for thunderstorms, so a decision was made to have a day on the coast in Nice. Two buses a day leave St Martin for Nice, at 7am and 1pm, so the earlier one was taken for the two hour ride to Nice, all for the cost of €1.50 (seems to be the standard cost wherever you go).

Angie in Nice

Sunday - Circuit de Trecolpas

The walk started at the Vacherie du Boreon at 1,700m and ascended the Boreon valley before breaking out to the right to the delightful Lac de Trecolpas. A traverse was then made across the head of the valley to the Refuge de Couourde, before descending back to the cars via a lovely waterfall.

Setting out up the Val de Boreon.
Lunch was taken at the picture postcard Lac de Trecolpas, with the Pas des Ladres (Tuesday's walk) visible on the far ridge with snow filling the gap. The general consensus was that it was too cold for swimming (again).
The descending traverse to the refuge.
The Refuge de Couourde, complete with very tame chamois
Mick, Clare, and Angie enjoying some iced tea and some myrtle tart at the refuge.

Monday - Day off, nothing organised

It was decided to have a day off and catch up with shopping and washing clothes etc. Nevertheless, various activities were undertaken including bike rides and local walks.

Each night there, was a planning meeting for the following day around someones pitch, and that evening's was held round Colin and Val's van.

Their van suffered from electrical problems through the week, as did Hugh and Angie's van, but mysteriously they all disappeared once they left the site. Was there an issue with some of the electric hook up points?


Tuesday - Circuit de Fenestre

This walk started from a similar point to Fridays walk at the sanctuary Madonne de Fenestre at 1,904m. The walk followed an early trading route and the site still has a monastery and refuge.

The complex of buildings at the start of the walk
On the ascent. The col walked over on Friday's walk can be seen in the centre far distance.
The Lac de Fenestre, with the col behind on the left.

On the Col de Fenestre at 2,474m.

The name derives either from fenetre, the French for window, or from the Latin finis terrae meaning 'end of the earth/world'.

Ibex, or as the French call it - bouquetin
Remains of a WW2 bunker, with a chamois on top
An ibex confidently crossing the snow field on the north side of the pass. Two walkers later crossing it were far less confident.

Most walkers on the col returned to the starting point the way they had come, but the more exciting and interesting route for our group traversed across the head of the valley to the Pas de Ladres.

This view is from the traverse looking down at the Lac de Fenestre

The traverse took an interesting and exciting line up and across the rocky hillside.

Lunch was taken overlooking the Pas de Ladres.

Tony, Sue, Mick, and Norman ascended the peak on the left, Cime de l'Agnelliere at 2,700m, using the path seen snaking under the ridge up to the left.

The view from the Pas de Ladres at 2,448m looking down to the east on the Lac de Trecolpas visited on Sunday's walk.
In the evening, the group strolled into St Martin for a meal in a restaurant with a lovely balcony

Wednesday - Utelle

With the start of the energy draining heat wave, it was decided to have a shortish walk to round off the week. Tony and Sue suggested a drive down the valley and up to the village of Utelle that they had stayed at whilst walking the GR5. From there a walk up to the sanctuary and back was proposed. Hugh and Angie decided to give it a miss due to the heat.

Coffee was taken in the main square of Utelle.

The pinkish building behind on the right is a good example of a Trompe l'oeil in that the windows are painted onto a blank wall.

Looking down on Utelle from the start of the walk.
Looking back up the Vesubie valley
The final evening together, and as on previous meets everyone timed their meals to be ready at the same time so that all could eat together.
Colin and Norman provided the after dinner entertainment.
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