La Colmiane: Caïre Gros revisited

View from western flank of Tête de Clans

This hike is dedicated to St-Martin Vésubie, the Vésubie Valley and all its villages.

The storm Alex hit the region with catastrophic consequences three days after we did this hike.

We have previously hiked to Caïre Gros (2087 m) from St-Dalmas Valdeblore (1290 m) using the GR5 trail.

This time we wanted to explore the route from La Colmiane (1500 m) above St-Martin-Vésubie. The starting point is a bit higher. As a small mountain resort, both the access and parking possibilities are excellent.

We started from signpost #93 and followed a dirt road which circled along the western flank of a forested hill called le Sucas far as to signpost #94 where we exited the piste and started to ascend diagonally in the woods along a PR (yellow marking) path. Is spite of the proximity of a ski resort, we were in a pristine forest. We crossed one ski run and proceeded to signpost #98 where we merged with the GR5 trail from St-Dalmas Valdeblore.

Continuing along GR5, we first reached Col du Varaire (1710 m) then ascended diagonally along the northern flank of Caïre Gros. There were patches of snow by the trail after an early cold front hit the region a few days earlier.

We reached Col de Deux Caïres (1920 m) where we left the GR5, forked left along a trail which zigzagged along the grassy western flank of Caïre Gros to the summit. A beautiful ridge south of the summit comprises a few summits of roughly similar elevation. A clear trail runs along the ridge, although not marked in all maps. We were familiar with it from our previous hikes, and followed the path as far as to Tête de Clans (2081 m) where we stopped for our picnic on the mountain’s western slope.

We descended directly off piste to GR5 below us, reaching signpost #101 where we forked right (north) and hiked back to Col de Deux Caïres.

From the Col, we used the same itinerary back to La Colmiane.

Duration: 4h 30

Distance: 11,7 km

Climb: 650 m

Map: “Moyenne Tinée” 3641 ET or « Vallée de la Vésubie » 3741 OT 

Caïre Gros hike track
Caïre Gros hike track

Saint-Martin-Vésubie location La Colmiane marked with asterisk
                                         Saint-Martin-Vésubie location La Colmiane marked with asterisk


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