Lac Merlat via Cascade de l’Oursière

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.  

Lac Longet in the mist

Lac Longet in the mist

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. 

Refuge de la Pra

Refuge de la Pra

Refuge de la Pra as the mist descends

Refuge de la Pra as the mist descends

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.

Lac Merlat

Lac Merlat

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.