GR58 Variant – Pays du Tour la Font Sancte – Hiking Loop from Ceillac into Vallon de Pelouses

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Wednesday 29 July 2015

GR58 Variant – Pays du Tour la Font Sancte – Hiking Loop from Ceillac into Vallon de Pelouses

With our stay in wonderful Ceillac continuing and our feet ready for another hike, we found ourselves today taking a new route out of town into the surrounding mountains. This time heading steeply up the forested valley side to the south of town as we joined the GR58 variant also known as the GR Pays du Tour la Font Sancte. Rising up through the Bois de Lourette, after a few hundred metres the trees began to thin out and the views over the Vallee de Melezet, Vallee du Cristillan and all of the surrounding peaks and cols were magnificent beneath a cloudless sky. The 'top' of the climb was the Belvedere de la Mouriere, a perfect promontory of rock that yielded panoramic views taking in all of the surrounding terrain and also looking far into the east to the peaks of the Ecrins National Park.

It was a magical moment for us as we were treated to a view that really orientated us with so much of our previous outings. We could see the Col Fromage, the Col de Bramousse and the Col des Estronques nearby and then further away the impressive peaks of the Ecrins National Park - Barre des Ecrins, La Meije and the Glacier Blanc - all of which we had hiked in recent weeks or more than a year ago (We could even see our motorhome).

View from Belvedere de la Mouriere

Glacier Blanc
Barre des Ecrins
Views over Ceillac and the surrounding peaks of the Queyras
Resting for lunch we eventually dragged ourselves away and continued a traverse into the amazing Vallon des Pelouses, an idyllic and isolated haven that felt so quiet and remote we were captivated by its beauty. It was actually hard to keep walking as we just wanted to stop and stare so much.

Our descent began soon after, passing the remote hut at Andrevez Berg (where we also spotted climbers tackling a sheer overhanging face above), then following the river back into forests and veering westwards around the valley side back towards Ceillac.

Overall the hike took around 6 hours, but how much of that was just staring at the beauty is hard to say. We both arrived back feeling very alive and invigorated and also very glad to have tried this 'one more hike' from Ceillac!

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