Hiking (mountain trail, in places narrow and exposed)
Alpine route (equipped or very exposed section, snow field, blocks)
Larche » Bousiéyas
From the village of Larche, this stage takes the GR® 5-56 Tour de l’Ubaye along the Ubayette stream. It enters the Mercantour national park via the preserved Lauzanier valley, using Cavale pass, formerly a mule track, to reach the foot of the Tête de l’Enchastraye. It then goes to the former Fourches military camp, before reaching the deserted hamlet of Bousiéyas, the stage destination.
On leaving Larche towards the east, take the route leading to the Pont Rouge (red bridge) at the entry to the Mercantour Park for 5km. From the Pont Rouge, still on the GR® 5 trail, head back uphill on a track and then a trail right through the Lauzanier valley, passing the Parassac, Eyssalps and Donnadieu pastureland huts successively. At the end of the valley, the winding trail becomes steeper until reaching the Lauzanier lake. Continue, leaving this lake on your left to reach the Derrière la Croix lake, above a ledge. Leave this lake on your right and continue until reaching a little terrace, where the trail passes another little lake on the left before continuing the ascent along a stony slope first in hairpin bends followed by a long stretch over scree-covered terrain until arriving at the Cavale pass. (Hubert Tassel, CDRP 04) The trail descends in steep bends on the southern slope (beware of the typically strong gusts of the Lombard wind, which can lift rocks). The trail reaches the Agnel lake (2,343m) after crossing some rocky escarpments, scree and grass. Keep walking downhill along the right bank of the Cypière monoclinal valley. At the fork in the road (marker 37 at 2,095m), leave the path from the Pouriac pass to the left. 150 metres later, cross the little Gypière valley in an eastward direction to reach the Salse Morène barns (2,087m). Walk to the south west and then to the right (west) to arrive close to a hut at the edge of a ravine. Cross the ravine and head to the south west, then take a path that rises up diagonally to reach the Fourches pass (2,262m). Take the dirt tack on the western slope of the pass and then go left to cross the D 64 (old strategic military road). Descend to the valley line and cut across a hairpin bend in the road and then follow it for another 50m. Circumvent a shepherd’s hut and leave the road to descend to the Morade ravine. Cut across the road several times, pass the old hut (1,969m) on a hilltop. You will arrive on the D 64 again, which must be taken to reach Bousiéyas (1,883m). (Paul Guglielmi, CDRP 06)