Who is Noé? Noé, AlpinStore buyer

Activity? Self-guided touring hikes

Where? Vercors Massif

How long? 4 days, Sunday February 4 to Wednesday February 7

Aims? Cross the Vercors via the GR91 with a few deviations and discover more about winter bivouacs!

Background: I took my leave in mid-December for the beginning of February, hoping to have snowy conditions in the Vercors. The idea was to cut myself off from the outside world for a short while.

I slept in a bivy for the 3 nights (for those who don't know what a bivy is, it's simply a waterproof sleeping bag that allows you to sleep under the stars even in uncertain conditions without risking losing your down jacket), it didn't go below -5/-6°C at night and I carried 6 days' worth of food in order to test an organization that would allow me to be completely self-sufficient whatever the weather conditions. My pack weighed in at around 22kgs, with everything I needed to adapt optimally to my environment.

Setting off with absolutely summery weather, plenty of sunshine, no clouds and almost no humidity, I crossed the Vercors massif and in particular its Hauts-Plateaux from Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte to Die in the Drôme. That's around 83km for 3700m D+ and 4583m D-, Die being much lower than Saint-Nizier! I also climbed the highest point, the Grand Veymont at 2341m, which was really satisfying to do, a (very) small taste of what mountaineering is all about!


I had a hard time getting into it for the first 4 kilometers, which was with the aim of climbing to the top of Moucherotte, so I might as well tell you that the effort and the warm-up were at the same time, as a result I didn't tighten my shoes enough all day, and I made a mistake! Because a blister formed! (Link to the blog limiting HANWAG blisters) I dragged it all the way to the end, but it only hurt once I got home, so I'm not complaining.

On the last morning, I found myself with frozen shoes - I'd forgotten to put them under my mattress! Luckily I'd loosened them the day before, so I was able to get into them.

And in terms of autonomy, I ended up with the equivalent of a small Zip Lock bag for 4 days of waste, so the organization worked well!

Equipment used and favorite brands?

  • A 55L bag + a 3L Osprey Archeon front pocket (very practical)
  • TSL Highlander snowshoes (which I didn't touch once during this crossing)
  • Vaude Taurus 2UL tent (which I didn't touch either)
  • The MILLET Trilogy bivy,
  • Thermarest Parsec -18°C sleeping bag
  • A foam mattress and a sturdy survival blanket for sleeping
  • Sea to Summit Reactor Compact meat bag (as the sleeping bag was more than sufficient for this crossing, I didn't touch it either)
  • JetBoil stove (a sure bet!)
  • Esbit thermos flask
  • SIGG bottle (very useful!)
  • CAMP shovel
  • Leatherman (which I take everywhere)
  • Black Diamond carabiner
  • Micropur tablets
  • Vaude Escape lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Haglöfs ROC Down Hood
  • Black Diamond Punisher gloves
  • Icebreaker t-shirt, balaclava and socks
  • 125 ¾ Ortovox tights
  • Falke TK5 socks
  • Mtn Trainer Mid GTX from Salewa
  • Chains and gaiters were pretty essential too, as well as small waterproof bags to store my fragile stuff!

What do I love most about this type of outing?

Discovering the place I've decided to go. I'd only been to the Vercors once before by bike, and I really enjoyed the scenery, but the Hauts-Plateaux! Even better, even wilder! I rested and gained experience while walking in front of a magnificent landscape.