RAIN & WIND
A long day and cold day in the rain = no grand views!
In the morning it’s still raining a bit…. but nothing to worry about. Breakfast is at 7, but it’s only day old bread with homemade jam, but the jam tastes like heaven and coffee to top it off.
It’s still raining a little on and off, i decide to start out in dry clothes (eg not rain clothes) and the first 20 min i’m fine, but then the rain gets a bit nasty and i have to put on the rain jacket and my new rain-skirt, the skirt is super nice! It keep’s the rain of my shorts and i don’t ovreheat.
The hike is nice, it starts of on the gravel road but quickly turn into a nice trail up to a place called “le grand Berge” this i where i was hoping to pitch my tent yesterday, i’m happy i didn’t, cause everything is wet and very muddy up here.
The trail is going thru cattle pastures and the cows are using the trail, so it’s super muddy and filled with cow dung! A young cow tries a little run at me and i do my best “lotr: you shall not pass” attitude, and i works, the young steer throttles of and let me pass. It’s mellow going, up and down, it keeps raining and by now my shoes are soaked, but as long as i keep going i don’t get cold.
At around 10 i reach the start of todays climb, it in the end of the valley, and the wind is picking up, it’s accualley blowing up under my rain-skirt and that is not nice.
Starting of with a little rain
It’s super hot to climb op the steep trail, my rain jacket and armpit zippers are open and i’m still cooking! at the same time it’s getting colder the further up i go. After 45 minutes i’m in the low hanging clouds, it’s super cold and the wind is almost blowing my rain-skirt off, i tuck my head down and just keep pushing for the summit, and hopefully there’s no wind there. Half way up i meet a man, he can’t understand english or german… seriously! so i don’t know what he tries to tell me, he’s shaking his head saying no no!!
But i’m not about to turn around now, so i keep pushing!
After 1 ½ in freezing temperature and howling wing i arrive at the summit, i’m not lingering to take pictures ect. and just continue on down, it’s still raining but the Wind isn’t as bad witch is nice! There’s a chalet about an hour down the trail, and that’s where i’m heading, hoping to get at hot meal and maybe even hot coco, this thinking drives med down the mountain in record speed, slipping and sliding on the trail that is now a small stream…. yeah i’m totally wet by now, but i’m not cold as long as i keep hiking!
I’m about to head into the clouds, at the end of the valley
Just as i’m about to enter the refuge i’m overtaken by the young frenchman, he keeps going down thou!
I’m so happy to be out of the nasty weather, i take all the wet clothes of and hang it up to dry while i’m there, then quickly into some dry clothes and then ordre a omelet with potatoes, ham and cheese… and a big cup og hot chocolait. There’s only two hikers here also waiting out the bad weather. The Owner asks me if there was snow at the top!!! so i guess it is very cold up there… i did the summit in shorts 😉
An hour later i have to get going again, i debate wether or not to continue in the dry clothes. I decide to put the wet and cold clothes on again , i have to have dry clothes when i get to camp tonight!
it’s just super awful to get the wet clothes back on.
Nice omelet, a warm meal makes a big difference
LONG DESCEND TO VALEZAN
After only 20mins out from the refuge i exit the clouds, and the weather is getting so much better, with only a little rain and hardly any wind, super nice! I actually enjoy this next section a’lot, the clouds are parting now and again and i get short glimpses of the mountains i have been crossing over today… they are absolutely majestic, i would love to have seen them in their full splendour. This section is like a plateau, and i’m only descending very little over the next 30mins, again very nice.
But just as i get to enjoy the nice walking the trail enters dense wood and cow trails, over the next 20mins i manage to roll my ankle twice and my knee once, it’s fucked up, but luckily it’s not bad and i have no problem to continue.
As im heading down i’m looking back up towards the refuge, the clouds are parting to reveal the grand lanscape
It’s a long haul down, i have 2000hm to descend, the trail slowely wraps around the mountain and down thru some small local villages, thru backyards and backallys. Just as i reach the outskirts of — i meet two elderly women going op, they have a looong way to the next refuge, and they already look super pressed.
The town isn’t anything worth to writer about, and i pass thru quickly towards the road to Landry, theres no markings and i have to go by instinct, i get to the road and i have a choice, either to go to Landry 2km of road walking or climb up to Montchavin 5km up the mountain… i’m totally done, tired, wet and hungry, and i’m having a hard time deciding what to do. I don’t want to go to Landry, but i dont want to climb up to Montchavin… then i have an impulse and stick my thumb up at a car about to pass me, and by chance it stops and a nice lady asks me where i’m going, she’s going op the mountain and want to take me along. I throw my backpack in the trunk and while i do that her young son Jakob changes seats to the backseat so i get to ride shotgun!
She drops me off at the campsite, so nice!
As i have no gas to make dinner, i really hope to get a pizza in the town, but i’m badly disappointed cause the whole town is closed down for the summer, and you can’t even get a cup of coffee. Theres no one around at the campsite, and at the reception theres a note saying that if you arrive later than 17:30 you should call a phone nr. So i just pitch my tent and decide to talk to them tomorrow morning before i leave, luckily they have a well equipped common room with a microwave where i can heat some water for my dinner… sweet! I’m going for a shower first, and as i’m finishing up a camper van arrives and they talk to somebody at the reception, so when they are done i go and have a talk to the lady behind the desk! She is super friendly and helps me find the next store in Tigne, where i can buy supplies and maybe some gas?
I make a nice dinner and go to bed as the sun i setting, i think my blister is ok, but i haven’t removed the tape yet, maybe tomorrow?
Beautiful town, but empty
it’s still wet, but the camping site has a warm shower and drying room