Time: 5.75h. Up: 1030m. Down: 820m.
Distance: 10.5km. Difficulty: hard.

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Stage 62: Pied du Mélezet (1702m) to Maljasset (1910m)

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

Ashort day but a tough one, with the Col Girardin to overcome, at 2699m the third highest pass on the H2H, followed by a steep and challenging descent to the isolated hamlet of Maljasset.

Welcome to Provence! Yes, you are now officially in the Département des Alpes de Haute Provence... although clearly our surroundings are still much more "Alpes" than "Provence".

Rocks still rule here, with a typical Alpine mixture of limestones and marbles, sandstones and schists, and gneisses and granites reflecting the genesis of the Alps out of the shallow Tethys ocean over 100 million years ago. Unusually, there is even some serpentine, from a chunk of ocean crust that somehow got pushed on top of the continental shelf during the Africa / Eurasia tectonic plate collision... but maybe I'm losing you.

How's this instead? The marble base of Napoléon's Tomb in Les Invalides in Paris was mined in the next-door hamlet of Maurin. Everything is connected to everything, you know....

Today's route is identical with the GR5 and the Via Alpina, except for the very beginning (both) and the end (GR5). From Pied du Mélezet, head east to rejoin the GR5 and Via Alpina after a couple of hundred meters, then climb, at times steeply, up the valley side before turning south. Pass by the Lac Miroir 2214m, and then the Lac Sainte-Anne (2403m), on your way to the pass at Col Girardin (2699m). From there descend by a steep and difficult trail (borderline Klettersteig) to Maljasset, forking left and leaving the GR5 at around 2310m.

Alternatives: if you want to avoid the last difficult descent, go right at the fork and follow the GR5, which is a marginally easier. Once down on the road (1890m), turn east and walk up-valley about a kilometer to Maljasset. If the weather is bad, take a day off, because the Col Girardin and the descent to Maljasset are not to be trifled with.
Maps: IGN-3537ET Guillestre, IGN-3637OT Mont Viso.

The House to House blog... stage 62.

<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 three places to stay at Maljasset -- the Maison d'hôtes (B&B) les Zélés (+33-(0), 2 dbls, 1 trip, 1 quad), the Gite-Auberge de la Cure (+33-(0), 26 beds in 4 bunkrooms), and the Refuge CAF de Maljasset (+33-(0), 43 beds in rooms and three bunkrooms, and which is an Alpine Club hut).

Getting There and Back
Pied du Mélezet: take a taxi/minibus about 15km to the nearest railway station at Montdauphin-Guillestre (contact information for taxi/minibus here, and for train schedule information, see the SNCF).
Maljasset: as with Pied du Mélezet, except that you have to go about 47 km to Montdauphin-Guillestre.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Pied du Mélezet, centered on Maljasset.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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