Wednesday 22 July 2015


Yesterday was a very long day, with 3,300m of ascent.  I reached a hut at 6.00 pm and was hungry, so I had some lasagne and a shandy, but was told the hut I was aiming for was closed.  Anyway I plodded on up into the cloud, rather regretting the shandy, until at 9.15 I arrived at the top of the Olen pass and found that the said hut was indeed closed, because semi-derelict.  Fortunately, by shifting a bench blocking the door, I got inside out of the cold cloud and actually had a good night sleeping on the floor.  Dawn revealed a good view of Monte Rosa and my descent joined the Monte Rosa trail.  How strikingly different from the wild, pathless, deserted terrain already traversed!  An excellent path, lots of people, signs indicating the degree of difficulty and estimated time of travel; difficult here though equates to dead easy on my prior travels.  It's something of a milestone to arrive in Valtournenche and a great advantage to restock at a selection of supermarkets and shops instead of an isolated bar.  And I've just had a four-course meal at a nice hotel.  Luxury!

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