First Winter hike — Le Désert en Valjouffrey

Le Désert is the last village in the Valjouffrey valley at 1275 meters, a perfect Sunday (Dec 4) getaway from Grenoble’s foggy and polluted air. As always in Winter months when starting driving from the town, we hit the clouds near Vizille, but soon after climb over them. We never really saw any snow, but in the Valjouffrey valley there was frost just at the bottom but none at 50 – 100 meters up the slope.

The whole day was sunny, with perfectly blues skies, but unfortunately the sun did not reach the bottom of the valley of river Bonne. The chilly breeze froze us to the bones, especially in the beginning. The lighting conditions also made the photography quite a challenge!

The grade was rather moderate so it did not make us work up much sweat, either. We climbed 479 meters in little less than 6 kilometers before turning back.

We crossed a couple of icy streams, but had to turn back at the third one.

We were quite surprised to see the rivers frozen. However, there was water flowing below the ice.

This 200-meter stretch was all the sun we got.

More frosty trees on our drive back to Grenoble, via la Mure.

The pollution became quite evident as we approached the town.

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