|Sommet de la Bernarde
from Stade de neige de Vauplane
Sommet de la Bernarde
|Estimated net time||1-1½ hours|
The start of the route runs along a mountain road, then across grassy slopes on a vague path.
|Drinking water||No access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Only coverage in the summit area (October 2011).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head car park.|
|Start height||1605 metres|
|Vertical metres||335 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||3.3 km|
From the round about by the market square in the town Castellane, approximately 65 km west/north-west of Nice as the crow flies, drive in the direction of Digne. After approximately 700 metres you get to the next round about, where you take the first exit onto road D955. Drive 7.0 km and turn right where signed for "Demandolx". This exit is a little more than 1 km after you have crossed the large dam. Drive 5.2 km and turn left towards "Demandolx", and then turn left again after another 5.3 km, where an old sign says "Vauplane". Then drive 4.3 km and find parking on the large car park.
Start your hike by walking off path towards the cabin located at 1650 metres. When you hit the mountain road turn left and follow it through a few zigzags to its highest point. Leave the road here and walk more or less directly uphill (north), where you find the terrain easiest. After approximately 150 metres (50-60 vertical metres) you will meet a vague path marked by cairns. Turn right and follow this cairned path all the way to the summit, which is marked by some metal construction.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
11. October 2011
Elsabeth and I had already hiked Sommet du Teillon this fine Tuesday, and from the summit I had spotted a possible route to Bernarde, which would be a short hike. Hence we decided, while at Teillon, to drive back to Castellane after the hike, get some lunch, and then drive up to the trail head I had spotted.
After a quick stop in Castellane to buy some more water and a couple of sandwiches we drove up to the small ski-centre south of Bernarde. The plan was that I would do a hit-and-run for the summit, and Elisabeth would enjoy the sun and go for an easy walk down in the valley.
Thanks to the excellent view of the route I had had earlier in the day, while at
Teillon, I had a very good idea about exactly where I should walk. This turned
out well, and I even found the vague path that took me all the way to the
summit. At the summit I was surprised to see another hiker relaxing in the sun,
and even more surprised when he did not show any intention to say "hello". I let
him sit there by himself and took a number of photos, before running back down
to the car. It was indeed an easy hike, but I was quite tired when I got down to
the car, having completed many longish hikes the last few days, and having had
too little food and drink between the two hikes today. I might learn one day ...