Saturday, May 11, 2013

Combe de Recaute and Vallon de Sanguinette (3 hour walk)

Vallon de Sanguinette
This walk is a shorter variation of one of my previous walks; Massif des Cedres by Vallon de Sanguinette and la Tete de la Baraque. You start at the same place in Combe de Recaute, but you will make a smaller circle in the opposite direction and return down the narrow Vallon de Sanguinette. This involves getting down a vertical 3 meter high cliff with the help of a rope that is permanently attached on the spot. It is not difficult, but some may find it too much.

Drive up from Lauris and follow signs for the restaurant and Gite d’etape “le Meou”. Pass this and drive on; turn left at the top, but turn left for the Combe de Recaute at the 244 meter point. Drive on to the 265 meter point, where you turn right onto a track road into the Combe de Recoute. Park the car after about 500 meters on the track road.

Continue the track road and you will meet the GR97 after about 20 minutes. Take the GR97 to the right and do the 10 minutes mounting up to the top (443 meters point) where the GR continues down into the next valley. On the top here, you see a small path taking left straight north up towards the cliff you see right there (path not on the map). Take this path and it will take you about 30 minutes to reach the top where the dead end of the forest road you see on the map is situated. The path is marked with cairns after a while and there are no real difficulties, just a bit steep in places.

Take the forest road and it will take you only about 4 minutes up to the 580 meter point. Continue along the forest road all the way up to the 687 meter point, where the  forest road from the Vallon de Sanguinette comes up from the left (1h 45min). (This junction is only some 5 minutes after a forest road has taken off to the right.)

You take sharp left down this forest road (old markings of red and afterwards blue markings). After only a good 5 minutes walk on this road, you see one or two cairns and a good path that takes down to the left. Take this path, marked blue after a while, all the way down into the Vallon de Sanguinette (2h). Down in the valley, you turn left on the path that come up the valley, and after some 5 minutes you encounter the cliff you need to get down with the help of the attached rope. 

Continue the valley down and you will use about 25 minutes before reaching the large track road you were on earlier (further down). Just follow the road down back to the car (3h).

Basic information:

Duration:        3 hours
Distance:       10 km.
Ascent:           380 m
Difficulty:        Difficult rock, but rope attached (moderate)
Start/finish:    Lauris/Combe de Recoute
Map:               IGN 3142 OT (1cm=250 m)

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