One of the things I’d wanted to do last year but didn’t get round to was Mont Buet by the north ridge, which is a far more remote, scrambly and exposed way of doing it than the classic way. So headed off to do that, starting from Col des Montets and heading down to Le Buet where the trail starts.
The Tres Les Eaux valley is simply stunning, and absolutely loved being out there with the place to myself. Had gone up there with my parents last year but this time there was a lot more snow, and that combined with the chains / steps / generally quite steep ground meant it was pretty slow going. Was quite happy to just hike most of it though as was planning on being out for 5-8 hours so treated it as a time on feet type run.
Faffed quite a lot because the views were worth it, but eventually made it to the col, where the sign was almost buried completely. From here my map shows the route to go over some ridges and saw the red dots of the tiny little trail so headed up, and scrambled onto the first ridge. Trail then went under a fairly hefty crag before kind of disappearing apart from the odd red dot. Up until this point all was well.
Then seemed to completely lose all remnants of a path, which would have been fine had it not been for encountering some horrible scree slopes of schist that just kept crumbling and falling down the side of the mountain. Reached a point that just could not see how to get across, so decided to turn and head back. This was easier said than done, and there was a point that it seemed my insurance was going to come in very handy.
On the way back I caught sight of a red dot below and could see a vague trail so tried again. More sketchy scree and then came to a series of gullies that couldn’t really see myself getting across due in part to some snow fields. Had taken microspikes with me but thought they wouldn’t be enough.
So retraced my steps back to the col and thought quite hard about whether turning around was the right choice. Came to the conclusion that it’s never going to be the wrong choice, so was happy enough to head down to Loriaz via another rather steep slope.
So quite frustrating in many ways but still very much enjoyed being in the mountains and seeing next to no one. Plan on mixing up the long runs so there are some like this that are more about time on feet, and others that are more consistent running for a long time.
Took a combination of cereal bars, gels and sweets with me - definitely a fan of having some variety. Only ended up taking one gel - a torq apple crumble flavoured one which was amazing. Becoming a big fan of torq gels - had a banofee pie one and strawberry yoghurt one before which were also scrumptious.
One slight concern I have is that I could feel my ankle becoming more and more swollen during the run, although it didn’t seem to actually affect my running. But for a race next weekend I need to get a medical certificate signed off and I’m not sure how the puffmonster ankle is going to go down.
Strave and pics: https://www.strava.com/activities/1697712659