Welcome to the country side of France
Walking on tracksuits, without calls, stress and instagram, that was it. Slow down was all I wanted since weeks. Then, I’ve got the idea to do a snowshoe hiking trail in The Vercors, by an hour drive of Grenoble in France. Let’s go !
I quickly realized that winter hiking provides even more enjoyment, challenge, and breath-taking views. Being disconnected in mother nature for a long week-end is the best way to be positive. With 14 others adventurers and a friend, we planned a hiking trip in the mountains in France. After flying from Paris to Lyon, then 2 hours of driving, we arrived in Rancurel, a cute countryside city of 300 souls in Vercors.
9.30pm. At the hotel, Damien, our local Mike Horne, told us our schedule for the next 48 hours. “16 miles of hiking with snowshoeing, in total autonomy, at over 1600 meters” was the plan. The next day, early bird calling, we started at 7am. Snowshoeing strung on my feet, pulka * hanging on my back, camera ready on the neck, I can’t wait longer : walk to the unknown is everything. We are in the highlands of the Natural Regional Park of the Vercors.
After 2 miles of hiking, the muscles warmed up. We only head the sound of snowshoes in the middle of the wilderness, nothing else. The pure air fills our breasts. The fresh snow replaces the rubbles on the ground. This is it, an ethereal wonderland !
A peaceful and picturesque view of the woods covered in snow is worth miles of hiking through deep powder. Giant firs all over, steps of wolves, then a wooden facade with a funny circumflex roof appeared in front of me. This is the Pré Grandu hut, our house for the night.
1pm. Lunch break. Whether you opt for sandwich or a hot lunch, mountains cheese and local ham are possibly the most satisfying gastronomical experiences after hours of hiking in the snow. Daniel is also a good chef, thanks god. We are as happy as kids in christmas !
2.30pm. We started to hike for 5 miles. The pounding against rocky terrains for hours caused my feet to ache and my legs to quack. But I kept walking. On the way, we shared stories and get to know each other better. Laughs, improvised snacks and wolf stories make time go by, slow and invigorating. Suddenly, a peak under a white coat appeared, it's the Grand Vermouth, 2341 meters, a marvel !
The sky got darker, we returned to the refuge. Dinner by the fire, Russian vodka and hanging wet socks brought an intimate atmosphere in the house. The guys went on a night hike. Headlamp lit, I remained to contemplate the starry sky. I just loved it. I made my first snowman also ! so much fun. I climbed snuggling into my sleeping bag in the girls' room. 5 degrees, I'm cold but I warmed up fast. Then, Morpheus called me. What a day !
7:30 am. The eyes sting even more but the adrenaline is intact. Today, 6 hours hike was planned. Last sweat ... last pictures .. last moment .. and warm hugs to say goodbye. Thank you, the Others.