Saturday, 10 January 2009

Local exploration

There are several waymarked walking and VTT routes in the Massat area, many of which we have covered but many of which remain unexplored. With fine weather today, I reckoned it was about time we had a look at no. 14 "Le Boucle de Ouert" which would take us up from Biert to the ridge which dominates the skyline that we can see behind Pissou. The leaflet suggested a duration of around 3h45 and an ascent of 610m. We were intending to run as much as possible, but with some snow still on the ground and sodden, muddy ground elsewhere, it was never going to be super quick. It took us 1 hr 10 to reach the high point of the Pic de Ouert which was 5.5 kms into the walk/run. From there, we had an interesting descent which alternated between the very steep old 'chemin creux' paths (treacherous, with snow covering rotting leaves and not inconsiderable quantities of mud!), short sections of tarmaced roads and then pleasant running on winding woodland footpaths which seemed to go on forever. In just over 2 1/2 hrs we were back at the car having covered just over 13kms and 670m of ascent according to the altimeter. It was a pleasant circuit which I am looking forward to revisiting in the summer when the terrain is more runnable.

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