Originally this endeavour, was called the 35 Door Project, and then it became the 35 +1 Doors. The new name for this series of occasional posts is “White Over Red”. Doors just tell you about logistics – they tell you nothing about the sweat that pours off my face, as I follow the white over red trail symbol up to a col and down to a valley. The author, Paddy Dillion (“The GR5 Trail”) says, I may do this so many times, that depending on my route and adaptions, I will have gained and lost over 40,000 meters of elevation, by the time I reach Menton on the French Riviera mid-September.
First to the questions, who, what, when, where, why. The answers are solo, walking GR5, now, French Alps, … .
The plan of doors has already fallen by the way side. Monday (3 rd day of walking – Aug. 8) in the original plan had me walking too far. I left Calgary Aug. 3, which means that on Sunday I was still very much jet lagged. I made it to the Refuge Dents D’Oche on adrenaline for Sunday night. The refuge is in an stunning location, but it is was a detour of 550 / 600 meters of elevation. The first section of the detour was along a series of mist covered switch backs. Only my huffing and puffing told me I was climbing. One of my walking rules is that I walk, I don’t scramble, and I certainly don’t climb. The final 150 of elevation was gained using a series of chains anchored into the rock. Lessons in concentration – don’t look up – don’t look down – check footing – trust the chain. Rule broken and not to be broken again. The descent was no easier.
By the time mid-afternoon Monday arrived, the only thing I could do was to fall asleep at the side of the trail in a meadow. Less than one and a half hours later, I was in an unplanned refuge with a beer in hand, watching a parade of cows as they came home for their evening milking.
As time, energy, and internet access permits I hope to post sporadically. I have the ability to capture photos on my iPad mini, from my camera, but I have neither the time, tools, or inclination, to perform my normal editing process. That said here are some initial impressions.
The Train from Geneva to Lausanne so that I could catch a boat to Evian
On the way to Bernex Bound for Refuge Dents D’Oche
The Climb and View From the Refuge – That is Lake Geneva 1,800 m below, and 2 days walk away.
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