|Blayeul Sommet from
|Estimated net time||4-4½ hours|
|Difficulty||A little steep in places, and a little strenuous, but no difficulties.|
|Drinking water||No access to running water except from a stream along the gravel road at the start of the hike.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (October 2011).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at the trail head.|
|Start height||1125 metres|
|Vertical metres||1075 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||8.4 km|
From the town Digne-Les-Bains, almost 100 km north-west of Nice, as the crow flows, drive approximately 27 km north on road D900 and turn left where signed for "Verdaches". Drive 1.5 km and turn right onto a small car park immediately after having crossed a small bridge. Park here.
From the car park walk 100 metres back to a long pedestrian bridge crossing the river. Here you will find signs for "Le Blayeul". Cross the bridge and turn right immediately after. Follow the gravel road along the river and make sure you don't turn left onto the gravel road 400 metres from the bridge. Instead cross the small stream and turn left when the gravel road turns left. From here continue 400 metres uphill to a road fork. Turn right, and then turn left onto a path 60 metres later. Follow this path, at times steep, through the forest and up to approximately 1860 metres. Here the path fades away, but the route to the summit is obvious, on grassy slopes. You will find a path again out on the right side near the summit, but there is no point searching for it. The summit is a small top located right (north) of a large mast.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
10. October 2011
After two hikes the previous day Elisabeth wasn't terribly keen on another multi-mountain day, so we agreed I would set out a little early this Monday and be back to our base at Sisteron by lunch. This in turn meant I had a strenuous morning ahead of me.
After having had breakfast at our hotel when they opened the restaurant at 8am I went straight to the car, having made all the preparations before breakfast. The drive took me approximately one hour, and I was happy to locate the trail head in the small village Verdaches without any difficulties. And things looked even more promising when I found a sign for "Le Blayeul" from the main road through the village.
The whole route from where the path started and all the way to the summit was quite strenuous since the terrain was fairly steep, but having brought my telescope poles meant I could put some of the strain on my upper body, which I knew would be particularly useful when descending.
From the summit I had a very nice view almost all around, but the telecomm mast
was a bit of a bugger. But a lot of photos where taken, and then back down at a
good pace. Then the drive back to Sisteron and a nice lunch before starting to
get ready for the afternoon excursion to