Time: 7.75h. Up: 1310m. Down: 880m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 60: Briançon (1254m) to La Chalp-Arvieux (1685m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Afair amount of road-walking to do today, unfortunately, but the roads are for the most part not busy and – as usual – the countryside is beautiful.

On your way out of Briançon you cross the Durance River, which will be crossed again twice along the H2H: once just before the Luberon, and during the penultimate stage. The connections to Provence are becoming more frequent... progress is being made!

After the river, you head up at first through suburbs, then wooded slopes, then open pasture along the valley of the Ayes River, eventually reaching the high pass of Col des Ayes in early afternoon.

After a steep descent from the pass, the final stretch along the road from Brunissard to La Chalp-Arvieux has a special significance: it is the only time on the H2H when you walk along the route of the Tour de France (although you have crossed it twice before, in Samoëns and Briançon). In 2006 the Tour de France covered 3,639km in a mere 20 stages. Maybe the H2H is a walk in the park after all....

Today's route is identical with the GR5, except for the first 35-40 minutes between Briançon and Sacha. Start by dropping down to and crossing the Durance then heading towards Villar-St.-Pancras along the D36. Less than a kilometer after crossing the Cerveyrette river, fork left to Sacha where you'll rejoin the GR5. From here head up the Ayes valley, sometimes on trails, more often on back-roads and farm-tracks, via the Chalets des Ayes (1730m) and the Chalets de vers le Col (2209m), to eventually arrive at the Col des Ayes (2477m). On the far side descend to the road (2142m), turn left, and walk down it via the village of Brunissard (1760m) to the hamlet of La Chalp-Arvieux.

Alternatives: if you want to shorten the day, you can take a taxi from Briançon at least to the Chalets des Ayes (saves 2.75h, +650, -70m, 8km), and possibly all the way to the Chalets de vers le Col (saves 4h, +1140m, -70m, 11km).
Maps: IGN-3536OT Briançon, IGN-3537ET Guillestre.

The House to House blog... stage 60.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic.
Dinner and overnight: there are several places to stay and eat at in and around La Chalp-Arvieux (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Briançon: there is a railway station here (for train schedule information, see the SNCF).
La Chalp-Arvieux: the nearest railway station is in Montdauphin-Guillestre, about 20km away by taxi/minibus (contact information here).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Briançon, centered on La Chalp-Arvieux.

Background Information and Links
Many and various... <

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