We know the ridge well, we have walked it four times and see it every day from our Naya
I had planned this walk as a recce to find and record the marked route, but it developed into a regular Monday Group walk.
We decided to do the recce today because last week hardly anyone of the Monday Group were available to do the planned walk.
However when we met at the piscina in Parcent to start the walk there were nine of us.
We have done this walk four or five times, but the last time was in 2013. I wanted to do a recce and record it on my satnav before we offered it to our Thursday Explorers.
By coincidence we last did the walk on 8 April 2013, almost exactly four years.
In both 2013 and 2012 it had been very cold when we did this walk, by comparison we had lovely weather today. Warm with a cool breeze. The breeze got cooler as we got higher, but it made the climb easier.
We found the climb longer and harder than we remembered it, mind we are four years older now!
We were all very pleased when we reached the long anticipated banana stop
We always have a short break at this point and have fond memories of the first time we did this walk in 2006 with a large Spanish group from Parcent. They were surprised with our flask of tea, we were delighted with their wine skins.
This is a view you would never tire of, and all the more welcome after a challenging 90 minute walk to get there.
The next stage is the hardest part of the walk, it is very steep and includes a false summit.
The recce had gone well up to this point, because we had to keep in line due to the narrow track.
But once we reached the open space on the top most of the group wanted to push on to lunch rather than search for the not so obvious marked track.
I went back to record the correct path whilst they had lunch, and we abandoned the recce for the remainder of the walk
The ridge walk after lunch is well marked and easy to follow, so I am sure that I will not have any problems when we offer it to the Thursday Explorers.
It is a lovely walk, with impressive all around views. And at this time of the year lots of wild flowers as well.
I was impressed that we reached the Col de Rates restaurant in 5.5 hours, I had expected at least 6 hours. It may be only 10 km, but it is a total ascent of 685 metres.
Thanks again to Nick for the walk stats.