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2016 visit to the Alps

View Photo Set 1/3 | Set 2/3 | Set 3/3

When we planned the trip, for four of us including one with lung problems and another convalescing from a major operation, we headed for Chamonix since it has many téléphériques which run in summer. That would mean that one could pay to be taken up the mountains and then do traversing or descending walks. If you read-on then you will quickly find what actually happened. Despite our change of plan, the holiday turned out to be a great success. With hindsight we were very glad that I had only pre-booked accomodation for the first two nights and the last night.


 

Sun 11 July

We travelled out on Saturday and spent our first night at the Chalet Alpin du Tour.
 
Sunday was miserably wet. Nevertheless we took a bus down the valley and a téléphérique up to the Refuge de la Flégère. It was chilly and copious amounts of rain were falling. We stopped at the refuge for a cup of coffee and watched the rain and a few very wet people. Then, reluctantly, we went out and began walking.

It was cloudy, grey and very wet.
 
We walked, gaining height as we did so.

The nearby scenery was green and the distant was grey. We walked on whilst enjoying our surroundings in a perverse sort of way. When the time came to descend to Argentiere through the woods we enjoyed the steep paths. In Argentière we stopped for refreshment in the near-empty cafes and then took the bus back to le Tour.
 
That night we checked the weather forecast and it promised more rain for at least another week. Time for a change of plan.


Mon 12 July

No walking today. We loaded up all of our luggage and took the local bus into Chamonix. There we caught a bus to go through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to get to the other side of the mountain range at Courmayeur.
 
It was not the best of trips with two hours spend in a traffic jam caused by the slow action of the French border crossiing. (I thought I remembered something about free movement between EC countries?)

As you can see, the weather was a greatly improved!
 
 

We found a hotel in Courmayeur for the night.
 
We had a good meal of pizza or pasta and laid plans for the following day.


Tue 13 July

We had phoned the Rifugio Bonatti and had got dormitory accomodation for one night. So we took a bus to the head of Val Ferret and started to walk up the path to the Bonatti.
 
As we climnbed there was snow falling higher up the valley but it scarcely affected us and rapidly faded as we headed west along the path.

Once past the intial climb the undulations of the path were spaced-out and easier for Joan to manage.
 
 

That said, a second or two after this picture was taken Joan had her one and only tumble of the trip!
 
 

The Rifugio Bonatti is now in sight. It is the lower of two buildings in the distance.
 
 

Just a ravine and a bridge to cross then there will be a gentle descent to the Bonatti.
 
 

This must be one of the nicest huts in the Alps.
 
Spacious and well equipped dormitories and very friendly and helpful staff - not to mention the excellent food!


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