Col du Brevent

I overheated on our climb yesterday.  Ran out of water as well at the summit of Col du Brevent and we still had a long way down back to the chalet.  Our day started our with a big breakfast of baguette, scrambled eggs with lardo, all sorts of cheese and coffee.  That breakfast would usually hold my hunger for about 4 hours hiking.  Clearly, I overdressed however the morning was cold so it was hard to know what to wear.  I learned now that if there is sun, expect to burn up with thick layers.  I was burning up on the climb!  I was really ready to take my thermal pants off at one point, I was so annoyed.  Also, being in the luteal phase my body temp is higher as well as heart rate.  I regret not wearing my skort, ugh.

It was an absolutely no clouds and very sunny day.  We climbed up to Plan Praz lift and the last time we were up there, there was a lot of fog so no views at all.  Yesterday, it was clear and we were able to see Mont Blanc and every other mountains around. I had my poles and truly enjoyed the poles on the way up to the junction right above Plan Praz leading up to Col du Brevent.  I took my poles of from there because it was starting to be a bit more boulders and I am more comfortable feeling the rocks with my bare hands to lift me over the rocks.  There is a beautiful sensation feeling the granite boulders.  We scrambled a bit and admired the scenery above.

Lunch stop was a little hill across from the Brevent cable car station.  We were quite high, over 8,000 ft.  We ate our packed lunch and enjoyed the views.

I really dreaded the downhill because it was a rocky ski run and steep.  To my surprise, it felt like I was just walking normally.  What happened to my legs?  Wow.  Okay.  This is cool.  It actually felt great even through the rocks and pebbles with steep incline.  Is it possible that the body learned?  I started speed walking just to see how I would feel and later on, I started to jog.  I can do this!

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We ran down and through some what was tough for me.  It was joy and I totally was loving it.  Even if I wasn’t super fast, hey I am running or actually jogging.  I did fast hike some of the really tougher sections then started jogging again.  Yay, this is totally different from the last time we went down this way.  Crazy.

So, for days and days of hiking with ache body, slump feeling, throbbing feet and extreme tiredness it was so cool to not feel those anymore.  We were at our 4 hours mark and we felt good.  We took the shortest way back down to the road and Doug found this really neat single track through the pine trees.  It was fun to be able to run the single tracks.  Lots of roots on this trail but most of it is soft padded pine tracks that is runnable.  It felt so good to touch my feet on soft ground like that after all that rocky terrain.  It’s much more enjoyable to hike for so long without being so tired after 4 hours.  This is good progress!

We saw a little mountain goat on the way down from the Brevent.  I followed it a bit and then it ran down the steep rocky edge of the trail.  How do they do that?  Goats are amazing…

I also ate my brioche, salami and goat cheese sandwich – three of them in fact and some kind of chocolate brioche – 2 of them.  The only thing is, I need to bring more water than just a liter.  There was no creek to refill, usually I find a creek to fill up my bladders.  Doug gave me some of his water but the day was so warm, I came back to the chalet drinking like a fish – not good.

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The brioche sandwich really worked out good.  Salty, sweet and good fat calories.  For some reason, I find it satisfying to have salty and sweet combination food when I hike.  Also, the brioche is soft bread so easy to swallow compared to the pound cake or Madeleines which were very dry I choke on it!

The cool thing about hiking in Chamonix or maybe in France in general is that there are so many available combination of food to try out!

We came back to the chalet, took a quick shower and popped in a pizza we got from the Carrefore market into the oven.  I added Reblochon cheese, more cheese please!  Our dinner was followed by some Italian dessert of some sort of cream puff topped with chocolate then later, I also ate some of the Tartiflette for the first time.   It was delicious!

I sure talk a lot about food!

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