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Friday, August 14, 2015

Onward to Cabane de Prafleuri

This day started with us backtracking a little bit of the route we had done the day before. We went almost back up to the Col de Termin before we joined another trail. On the way back towards the Col we spotted our first Ibex of the trip.
The hiking was rugged and we were crossing lots of boulder fields. Similar to that on the backside of Mt. Timpanogos if you hike the Aspen Grove side. They are annoying and just slow you down a bit. Even more so with a heavy pack on. Really looking back this was the day of boulder fields. They were everywhere. We learned early that they were not Virginia's favorite thing but she was a champion and made it through a very long and grueling day in the back country. 

 We were surrounded by mountains the entire day. You really started to feel like you were far away from everything, most likely because we were. The first steep climb was to get to the top of the Col de Louvie. This is looking back on where we came from.
 This is looking at where we need to go. Endless boulders and mountains.
 This was also the first day we had to cross snow. This is one of my least favorite activities. I never feel safe on the snow. But there is only one way to go so it had to be done.
Virginia got the hang of it and came down one section on her butt. Not a bad idea. Probably even faster then carefully planning every step.
 We the crossed the Grand Desert. It was so barren. Had multiple glacier rivers and lakes and was super hot. I got my feet wet in some stream crossings because at that point I didn't even care.
 Definitely an alpine landscape.
Just when you thought you were at the top of the Col it would end up being a false saddle. It was long and hot. Virginia had taken a tumble earlier in the day and I was trying to carry both of our packs so we could move a little faster. It was very tedious.

Eventually we made it to the Col de Prafleuri but there was still no sign of our Cabane. That was extremely disappointing. It was at the top of this Col when I went to put my pack on that my shoulder slid out of socket. Something that happens occasionally. Usually when I am fatigued, which I definitely was. It gave me a little bit of a fit about going back in. It was at this moment that a prayer was said and I laid down on the rocks to relax. After I calmed down and relaxed it slid back into place and I was good to go. That was obviously followed by a prayer of gratitude. It just meant I would be on ibuprofen for the next two!
 More streams to cross. Once my feet were wet I just walked through them all which made it much easier.
Finally as it started to sprinkle our Cabane came into view. It was right as the sun was going down.It was so nice to see where we would lay our weary heads that night. I was so grateful we made it. After the long day we both agreed it was worth the four franks for a three minute shower. It felt so great to be clean.

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