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Hiking

Pain de Sucre

Perfect sunny morning – promises a great day and more sunburns.

Driving about 30 km to the next valley and to the pass of Agnel. Agnel is at 2740m height on Italian border. Popular between cyclists who can torture themselves while pedaling uphill and then others when driving down at an extreme speed (they do the same at other mountain passes as well). Looks like motorbikers love to drive here as well.

Leaving the car near the Agnel refuge a couple of cm before the pass we take the red and white sign-posted path to the old pass (Col Vieux). There are options – to proceed uphill to the 3210m high Pain de Sucre (sugar loaf) summit, or to take a detour some 100m down first to the lake Foreant. The lake looks excellent from the pass, we select the second option.

Marmots around as one could expect. A group of hikers have a picnic at the lake shore (a favorite picnic place as we have been told). We have “no picnic” mood – the Pain de Sucre awaits us.

Under the hot sun beams we return to the pass, then proceed uphill. A strong wind joins us on the pass and does not want to go away. Pain de Sucre looks rather steep and rocky so we go round it. Still not much better on the other side so we move carefully up the path full of loose stones.

The weather is still sunny – the sight from the summit features mountain views and no clouds – the rare sight. The clear sight of the Montblanc that stands over other mountains like a white conus (no surprise French call it the white mountain). At the right from the Montblanc we see the highest summits of Swiss Alps, further to the horizon still other snow-covered mountains. Near at hand is the highest summit of Queyras – the 3840m high Montviso. To the left from the Montblanc – the 4km high summits of the Écrins national park.

We descend by about the same path. This is not much easier than to climb uphill. Down to the Agnel pass and then to the refuge Agnel.

On a way back to Abries we make a detour to enjoy the church of Fontgillarde village.

To the start
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