I did not sleep well--I had chosen to camp while the other two holed up in the refuge--and I pitched my tent under one of the numerous ash trees, which rustled throughout the night. Odd strong wind gusts blasted down the canyon every 20 minutes or so throughout the night, shaking the tent, and here and there I could hear the cracking of branches, sometimes close, sometimes far. I wondered if that little tree I was under would blow over and crush me.
Up and early, another bread-butter-jam-coffee-OJ brekkie, then on the trail at 7am. Today we're heading up and over to the Haut Asco ski area, a 750m climb up to the ridge then back down. It's sunny but cool and breezy and we scooted along to a suspension bridge over a pool.
It was picture worthy, and after the bridge the track went up 'slabs', more like sloped banks of granite, but not particularly polished or anything like I expected. The guidebook made it sound like these were horribly dangerous--and they certainly could be if it was rainy or drizzly--but today was dry and easy going.
I realized as well that perhaps one of the reasons why this Corsican granite is so jagged and spikey is that the mountains here aren't tall enough to support the extensive Ice Age glaciation that you see in the Alps or the Sierra Nevada of California. So the valleys tend to be sharp and V-shaped, and there's no glaical polish. Then again, we're only three days in, I'm sure the landscape will change.
The track went up and up, past a swampy unattractive lake, then crested at a spot with a wonderful panoramic view of the tallest peaks; in. the gullys and ravines snow still lingered. It was a fantastic view, made even better with the bright cloudless skies and the mild temps.
We soaked it in a bit, did a little down-up walk over to the next saddle, then clambered down and down to the ski hotel.
I had really really wanted a hotel tonight, and we asked at the bar if they had a triple room. They did, yay, so for 150 euro we booked in.
The afternoon was spent napping and enjoying the terrace and chatting about the silly things that you chat about in real life (and not on Facebook): the weirdly prices of custom number plates in the UK, vs the $35 or so that California charges... weird dreams (one of us has a recurring dream of having six toes, I'm not snitching)... and how to handle the one shared toilet in our hotel room in the middle of the night (if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down).
Dinner was marginal, a bit slow with the service; it took two hours to get through and we were all just exhausted after lugging our bodies up and down cliffsides; it's one of the few times on a hike where I felt like I did some chest and arms workout on the same day as back and shoulders, with legs day thrown in too.
We tumbled into bed--tomorrow's a big huge day, the highest day of the trip. I should get rest now myself and stop blogging. I'm keeping my roommates up; good night all.