Hiking and cycling in the Alps

13 août 2021 to 03 septembre 2021
Time to go for a roadtrip in the Alps, hiking, bivouacking, and cycling!

Ceillac

I arrived in Ceillac after a 10h drive from Nantes. Most traffic jams were on the other way so it was smooth, and only became crowded when approaching Lyon and Grenoble..
I spent the next few days exploring the village and the neighboroods, adjusting to the altitude, going cycling to the col d'Izoard and preparing for the upcoming hikes.
Finally the first hike of the trip towards the Lac Miroir!
Things went great, so I pursued and climbed the Col Girardin to contemplate a 360 panorama between Ubaye and Queyras.
Many people were stopping on the way down to swim or to fish in the lakes before going back to Ceillac.
Staying in Ceillac for 5 days was awesome, despite the higher number of people that I expected. It's a great place to admire paragliding, do some cycling and hike.
Before my next step in Arvieux, I decided to do a detour to Jausiers in order to climb the famous Cime de la Bonette with my bike, one of the highest paved road in Europe at 2802m. When the sky is clear enough we can even see the sea far away!
Before reaching Arvieux I decided to do my first bivouac of this trip at the Col de Vars (hidden from the road and the parking) since it was already a bit late in the day. The sky was incredible, full of stars until the full-moon appeared.

Arvieux

Arvieux was my starting point to visit the beautiful Refuges de Furfande and climb by bike to the Saint-Véran observatory.
I met several hikers of the famous Tour du Queyras, some of them were doing it alone but everyone definitely enjoyed it.
The next day was dedicated on climbing up to the Saint-Véran observatory with my (non-electric) mountain bike.
It started well, although I found the path difficult to ride (which made me fall a few times with only superficial wounds), but once at the top I faced a sudden storm. The temperature dropped very quickly, cold rain/melted snow started to appear..
Despite the weather and my fall, it was amazing to be able to get so close to the observatory and explore the installations. A group was patiently waiting for the sky to clear up in order to start their observation.
I didn't stay at the summit as long as I would have wanted since I wanted to avoid having a flooded path on my way down, especially since I know my rear-brake shows some weaknesses.. But I was glad to keep up the climb despite the difficult ascent, it was definitely worth it!

Lac des Cerces

I left the Queyras and drove through Briancon, the Col du Lautaret, Col du Galibier and stopped at Plan Lachat where I wanted to hike and bivouac somewhere around the Lac des Cerces.
A small amount of rain was eventually forecasted for later in the afternoon, but I decided to go anyway as it would not last long...
But actually, the rain started to fall intensively and didn't stop. The landscape around me started to have intense colors, it all became even more beautiful.
I finally reached the lac des Cerces, set-up the tent on the right side, went inside and tried to dry my clothes and shoes. The rain kept going for hours... Alongside an active storm that stayed there for four hours.
The rain stopped late in the night and the wind picked up some force. The next morning I spotted fresh snow not far away from where I was and on all summits around me. It was a magical moment.
I then wanted to spend a few days in Valloire, but it was so crowded that I decided to just climb the col du Galibier with my bike and head to La Grave and the Plateau d'Emparis directly.

Plateau d'Emparis

Alpe d'Huez

Lac Belan

Aiguille du Midi

Lacs de Chéserys

Glacier du Tour