Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
This really is a trekking day which combines everything hikers look for - epic views, peace and quiet, and a beautiful hut waiting for you at the end. On a logistical note, the guardian for the refuge lives in Tizi Oussem so you will need to contact him and ask him to come with you and open the refuge in return for a fee.
This only adds to the sense of adventure and is not something you often encounter in the Alps or other, busier mountain ranges! The day begins with a brief retracing of your steps from yesterday to reach a water channel where the trek for today branches off from yesterday's trip.
Trek from here for 1.5 hours to the east of the valley floor to reach some bright green fields and a farm.
After the farm go into a gorge and climb up through this, passing some small cascades and one huge, 100 metre high waterfall.
The final ascent out of the gorge is up a series of steep zig zags and above these you emerge out into another wide valley.
Head up this valley for an hour to reach the Lepiney refuge.
The traversing ascent to the hut is clear in summer but in winter it can feel slightly exposed so you might want to put your crampons on if conditions are icy. Once at the refuge, it won't take you long to explore! The hut is tiny, cosy and feels really "out there".
The view out of the front door of the Tazaghart cliffs is truly spectacular.
Settle in for one of the most peaceful nights you will ever experience.