GR5 – Hiking Chateau Queyras to Ceillac over the Col Fromage (2301m)

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Monday, 27 July 2015

GR5 – Hiking Chateau Queyras to Ceillac over the Col Fromage (2301m)

Making use of the fantastic Queyras Regional Park bus service (just 2 euros per journey per person anywhere in the park), we found ourselves stepping into the sunshine at Chateau Queyras just after 9 am this morning. Our hike today, following the GR5 trail for around 15km south over the Col Fromage and back into Ceillac began with a short descent, which our friendly bus driver had pointed out to us, followed by a long 10km ascent and almost 1000m of climbing. We had been concerned the route might be a little less exciting than other hikes as it looked on the map like we'd spend the day in forests. However, we needn't have worried. The valley we ascended was stunning, varied, with sweeping views over the Queyras and beyond to the Ecrins.

We breathed deeply the freshness of pine scented summer air and were treated to a spectacular display of meadow flowers and busy bees close to the summit. Arriving at the col after 3 hours, we sat mindfully enjoying the view. But once we started descended we could storm clouds gathering over Ceillac ahead and jogged all the way down in just 45 minutes, arriving at our motorhome just as the drops of rain began and the first thunderclap hit just as we turned our key in the door.  Below are the photos from our hike......

Setting off on the GR5 trail from Chateau Queyras beneath the impressive fort:



As we ascended through the pine forest up the valley towards the Col Fromage we were treated to wonderful views over the Val de l'Izoard with its jagged peaks:





Having a small stop to enjoy and appreciate the panoramic view opening up as the forest thins and we continue on the GR5 as it traverse to Col Fromage:







Stunning views from the Col Fromage:



Once again gathering dark clouds force a quick pace on the descent from Col Fromage and an even quicker jog back from la Villard to Ceillac.  Good decision the first thunder claps sound as we put our key in the door!


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