Wednesday 5 August 2015
Ascent of Monte Viso
The bivouac hut last night was in a lovely wild spot, above a twinkling blue lake, surrounded by rocks. The hut was packed to capacity, with parties from France, Italy and Germany all intending, like me, to ascend Monte Viso in the morning. It seemed cramped at first with rucksacks etc everywhere and I was in the attic, but actually it was fine and I had a good chat with a French couple and one of the Germans, and I slept well. Unusually there was no stove, so I cooked my meal on my camping stove using my sole canister of gas, which conveniently ran out just as I'd heated my morning tea! Some parties left at 4.00 and 5.30, but I left with the rest at 6.00 am and I'm going well so overtook everyone to arrive at the summit at 8.20. It was actually a surprisingly easy ascent, with a path to start and then scrambling over red rocks, polished smooth by many feet. The view from the summit was stupendous; in the clear, still morning air the whole of the alps could be seen - quite brilliant. I was back at the hut for a meal by 10.10 and then had a leisurely descent to the valley. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, though I found that camping a couple of days ago disturbed the rhythm of my days and it took two or three hours to get back into the flow of my journey.