Day 5 was my big day. Knowing full well it was my last, I was resolved to ski as much as I could. Dawn broke with a good 15-20cm of fresh snow over everything, with the locals of Les Rousses out with their spades shovelling their driveways. At the route du Lac, where I was waiting for a bus, a woman in a Yaris was trying in vain to move her car from an icy patch; during 20 minutes or so she spun her wheels literally and figuratively as locals stopped to try and help. Eventually, as my bus arrived, she succeeded in rolling back down the hill and heading off in the opposite direction.
The bus dropped me at Bois d'Amont, and at the tourism office a lady assured me it was a good 2-3km walk up to Porte des Combettes, the start of the nordic pistes. I set off, but had hardly gone 100m when 2 frenchmen in a car stopped to ask me directions to the same place. I mumbled an approximation of what the lady had told me, and they offered me a lift. It was more like a kilometre, but steep, so I was glad of the lift.
After a brief uphill to the actual hut, I had a nice little chat to the lady checking passes, and she assured me that all the liasons across to Les Rousses were open today, and that the dameuse (trailmaking machine) had been through that morning for the first time this week. From Les Combettes I headed northish along first La Pierre Levée, then around Le Grand Remblai to the Porte Risoux-Bellefontaine, through a communal forest along fairly flat and pleasant tracks.
|Looking out across a clearing along La Pierre Levée|
|Hutch at Risoux-Bellefontaine|
|Trees in light and shade along Le Grand Remblai|
|Another clearing along Le Grand Remblai|
|Le Chalet Rose|
|Frazzled but happy after a crash at the Chalet Rose|
|Long shadows around Le Crêt des Sauges|
In the evening I barged in a little early, and had to amuse myself reading Karenina on my phone until the staff had done with their dinner. The wait was worth it though; the trout I had, accompanied by a decent viognier and followed by tarte a l'orange, was well and truly the best meal I had all week, and I treated myself to a p'tit calva afterwards.
For the rest of the trip: