Refuge-Porte de Rosuel, July 12, 2016—
Looking downvalley west from the refuge Rosuel
A VERY SHORT DAY today, partly to get back into the swing, partly to avoid bad weather, as rain and even thunderstorm was expected in the afternoon. We had our hotel breakfast (orange juice, café au lait, little croissants, granolla) and then, in a gentle drizzle, walked down to the taxi rank at the train station where we found M. le Norman, who'd driven us to dinner the previous night. He took us up to le Moulin, where we'd stayed a few nights ago.
There we shouldered our packs, already shrouded in their rain jackets, and hit the trail, crossing the nant Ponturin, which was of course running pretty fast, and taking a dirt path uphill.
The path soon turned into a somewhat stony dirt mule-path, always under spruces and firs, which broke the gentle rain so that I hardly noticed it under my straw hat. I was wearing my usual costume: long-sleeved hiking shirt, trousers, boots. I wear that no matter the weather, almost never adding jacket or shell or rain pants.)
At Nancroiix, unfortunately, further progress on the GR5 was barred: apparently rockfalls or sliides had made the way dangerouus. We had to cross the nant again, I think on the "Pont Romano," and take the paved road through Nancroix. This was a great pity, as it meant we'd miss the Palais des Mines, the beautiful stone college of mining set up in Napoleonic times; I particularly wanted to show it to the others.
Also we were now out in the open and the rain had increased. I put on my nylon shell, ignoring its hood, and we continued, first on D87, then, at a small ccollection of recreational buildings (café, equitation, gîte) on a dirt road. At les Bettières the dirt road had begun to give way at a bridge footing, and a back-hoe was moving big rocks into place to remedy the situatiionn.
From there we followed a grassy track which almost immediately brought us to our nght's refuge, Rosuel, in an interesting building designed to shed avalanches. (A refuge on the site had previously been destroyed in one.)
Walking today: four miles, 250 m↑, 1:30. Hardly counts.