Surrounded by the splendours of the Queyras Regional Natural Park, Olivier takes us on a simple and physically demanding itinerary!
The aim? The ascent of the Grand Glaiza and its magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges!
Departure from Aiguilles, a crazy bivouac at the Malrif lakes and the ascent of the Grand Glaiza.
All the grandeur of the Queyras in three days!
3439 m D+
High point: The Grand Glaiza (3293 m)
one night in a bivouac + one night in a mountain refuge
Best period for this trek
From May to September
1 - Aiguilles - Malrif lakes
2 - Malrif lakes - Le Roux hamlet via the Grand Glaiza
3 - Le Roux - Aiguilles
Day 1: 7.4 km - 1262 m D+
The start is from Aiguilles, a stunning little mountain village in the upper Guil valley, just before Abriès.
Although the stage is short, the elevation gain is a little over 1200 m to reach the Malrif lakes and the superb view of the Queyras mountain range!
The landscape is magnificent and the bivouac is insane!
I had the opportunity to take a dip in the Mézan lake where we pitched our tent for the night.
Cottongrass flowers give a downy appearance to the edges of the lakes. In short, a magnificent bivouac!
Day 2, the biggest day: 19.6 km - 1177 m D+ and 1780 m D-
The Grand Glaiza rises to an altitude of 3293 m.
A 5:30 am start lit by head torches to get to the Crêtes aux Eaux Pendantes and have breakfast as the sun rises over the lakes. An explosion of colours, the conditions are ideal... a very special moment. The impression of the birth of a new world!
This is followed by the departure for the Grand Glaiza and its arid desolate trails.
By way of the Col de Rasis, we switch to the Italian part of the route for a few miles. We get to the hamlet of Le Roux(whose inhabitants are known as "Rossignols" (nightingales)!) after a descent of almost 1800 m where Dominique receives in us in his mountain lodge for a refreshing "night with a roof over our heads"...
The stage is a little challenging physically but so beautiful and varied.
Day 3: 17.6km - 1000m D+ and 1278 m D-
Third day and departure from Le Roux after a good night's sleep. We switch to the northern slope of the valley to reach the village of Aiguilles.
This very beautiful hike, which is largely in woodlands, is different again from the other two, thanks to the cool air provided by the shade of the trees and the more gentle landscapes.
The route drops down to the bottom of the valley and then rises up the north-facing slope and follows the contour lines to Abriès, then Aiguilles.
Looking towards the southern slope, we can see part of the journey we did the day before. The ridges stand out against the perfectly blue background of the sky.
The Queyras is a magnificent nature reserve to be explored with its variety of different routes to choose from. It's up to you to find your own!