Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Crêt de la Goutte (1621 m)

I have been craving for a good weather hike for a while and had high hopes that would be the one! Well... it wasn't exactly what I craved for, still better than the last ones weather-wise. Crêt de la Goutte is a summit in Jura range, just a 15-minute-drive from home. I chose it because it's close, fun, and low-altitude (I don't want to wade through snow on the routes). I was also glad that I could share this hike with my friend Kim who is a keen walker (and runner) herself.

We started off from Fort l'Ecluse but were unable to find the path up, so we went on the planned route clockwise (except counterclockwise). At the end of our hike it turned out that we had been just right by the track, we even looked at it, but we just didn't believe it was a trail (it looked nothing like it - being wild, unmarked and steep). The path was very mild in the beginning, going through fields, meadows and forests. The weather was nice in general, pretty unstable though. At some point we saw a gloom of storm chasing us, fortunatelly we managed to get away only with a bit of a drizzle. I mean... that time :)

At that time... because just a couple of quaters later, right before the summit, we had to face a drastic weather change and make through the hail. Well, that was new :) You can imagine my disappointment, struggling to get to the top, already tired after a couple of kilometres, and not being able to see the views around... again! Fortunately, we stayed a couple of minutes at the top and the sky started to clear a bit, in order to become completely visible after we have descended.

photo: Kim

We soon left the plains behind and entered a forest, following a path that was well marked with cairns (stone pyramids) that came in handy, especially on the wilder parts of trail. Every now and then we sidetracked a bit to see stunning rocky cliffs.


At some point of walking we found ourselves above Fort l'Ecluse, with a charming view on le Rhône river and Vuache mountain range.

From the point you see in the photos above, we basically went down... Like, vertically down :) The path we entered was very steep and definitely very wild!

That's Kim in the bushes...  I mean on the trail.

While hacking through the shrubs, we heard thunders and were wondering how far the storm was from us. At some point we reached a viewpoint that terrified me a bit.

Having seen the doom, we accelerated a lot to soon find ourselves at the fort. From there only half an hour left to the car. Uff, the storm has passed sideways.

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