Hiking to the Pré de la Chaumette, 1810 m., up the steeply sided valley of the White Drac river in Champsaur. A circular route, hiking up one side and down the other of the valley largely composed of crystalline rocks. We picnicked in the forest and then enjoyed a coffee in the sunshine at the refuge.
All-round views from the summit of Mont Gargas, 2208 m., including the Belledonne Alps above Grenoble, the Vercors plateau, the Dévoluy plateau and the Grande Tête de l’Obiou (2789 m.) opposite our hotel, then the Provence Alps far away in the heat haze of the valley of the river Durance. And closest, the peaks above the Champsaur and Valgaudemar valleys of the Écrins.
We met a number of intriguing groups - some hikers out from Grenoble taking advantage of the super clear day, what seemed to be a dysfunctional family with a domineering Dad leading from the front, Mum with too much arthritis for the climb and their son, busy posting selfies at the summit in his fresh new white Adidas trackie suit, we assumed he was on leave from the military. As well as pilgrims from the religious centre at the Sanctuary at La Salette, where the road ends.