Hike in the protected upper valley of the River Clarée in the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence on the border between France and Italy. This upper tributary of the Durance has avoided exploitation because of its remoteness, lack of viable downhill skiing and insignificance as a trans-Alpine route.
Continuing my photographic hunt for glaciers, those slow moving but ever more remote quarry. Our hike from the Col de Granon (2404 m.) gives great views both to the Écrins and to the Savoie Alps. The geology is tortuous because the views are across colliding tectonic plates as well as the action of the glaciers, wind, rain and frost.
Hike to Lac du Lauzon in the Massic des Écrins, above the parking and Refuge du Gioberney. This is a favourite route that we haven’t hiked since before the lockdowns and all that. Great to hear again the sound of mountain water cascading on rock, to see the chamois and the birds. We enjoyed our picnic by the lake amongst the high peaks and the big valleys, though the glaciers which helped shape them are sadly small.
The berger and his dogs are bringing the sheep down this early in the year because there is no more fresh grass, because of the extreme and prolonged heat of this summer.
Hike in the Valloise valley in the middle of the Massif des Écrins to see the Black and the White glaciers. Climate warming means these glaciers have retreated to approximately their extent in Roman times; it’s now a major hike to reach the ice of either. The valley floor is reminiscent of Yosemite with its pine trees. We saw almost no wildlife - no birds, no mammals - although this is a protected area within the national park.
Hiking a section of the Solway Firth coastline in Dumfries and Galloway. This south Scottish coast is as dramatic and varied as the Cornwall coastline but is accessible to the public only in short sections.
We hiked from Balcary Bay, through the coastal woodlands to Balcary Point with views across the Solway Firth wind farm to the north Cumbria coast, and the relief of the Lakeland Fells. The rocks here have great names: Lots’s Wife, Door of the Heugh and Adam’s Chair. Then suddenly we see the rare sight across the sea of the full outline of the Isle of Man, from Snaefell (620 m.) to Ramsey Bay.