The UT4M encircled Grenoble this weekend, so Russell and I decided to trek up to Lac Merlat to overnight & capture some photographs of the runners for team organizing the race.
The hike up to Lac Merlat from the closest parking location passes a number of small waterfalls, then the mighty Cascade de l’Oursière, before passing a col up to a plateau home to 3 lakes - Lac Bernard, Lac Longet and Lac Claret.
A little further up the valley, Refuge de la Pra looks out across the meandering river plane, and sits at a junction of several great routes in the area.
We continued onto Lac Merlat to camp, hoping for a great sunrise to light up Grand Colon and Lac Merlat, however were disappointed as the cloud formed around the summit and lake overnight. We caught a glimpse of the lake just as we were leaving.
The trek up was 10.5km, with 1,400m of elevation gain according to my GPS. On the way back, we took a slightly longer route to follow the UT4M trail back and catch the runners - taking 13.8km. Both routes were pretty straightforward - with a few spots that required care & attention, but nothing particularly difficult.