Monday June 13th Pont-en-Royans to la Balme de Rencurel

Brilliant walk but with the steepest bit of climbing I've had to do since going up Canigou. Really great scenery and although the weather doesn't exactly feel settled it stayed fine all day.

The first easy part of the walk involved a walk east out of Pont-en-Royans through the Gorge de la Bourne (named after the river that runs along it's bottom) to the village of Choranche. Great views of the of the cliffs on either side.

Grande Cournouse

River Bourne

After crossing the river at Choranche, it was a gentle climb for a kilometre or so and then a sharpe left and up a path that somehow managed to find it's way up the cliff. Was climbing really steeply for 400 metres competing for space with a group of runners coming sporadically the other way. The views along the valley just got better and better.

East along the Gorge de la Bourne

Climbing up out of the Gorge de la Bourne

Arriving at the top you could see out the east west running Gorge de la Bourne cut through another valley, which at much higher level ran north south. In the distance was a line of mountains, looking like frozen waves on the point of breaking. The last of the line, and the highest, is the Grand Veymont at 2341 metres.

2000 metre peaks through the heart of the Vercors

Although the real steep climb out the gorge had finished there was still more climbing to do, mainly through trees but very nice. In total today's walk involved over 1500 metres of ascent. Eventually you start to drop into the Rencurel valley. The picture below shows the north south valley, the trees in the middle ground are actually at the top of the Gorge de la Bourne, running east west. Behind the row of trees in the middle ground you can just make out the cliff face on the other side of gorge.

Heading to Rencurel

There is hotel in Rencurel but unfortunately it was full so I had to walk down to la Balme de Rencurel, 2 kilometres off the track and a drop of 200 metres, which will add to tomorrow's walk. Shouldn't complain because the owner of the hotel has been really helpful in sorting out my accommodation. In the end all three options on the GR9 were shut so I'm going to have to modify the route a bit and spend the night in Autrans. Potentially, if the route is not too tree bound, it could be a absolutely brilliant walk.

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