Still pushing the boundaries of the unexpected. Considering my aversion for humanity polluting my world, going up to a bothy on a Sunday was really going against the grain. However it was a fantastic day. A 04.30 start under a marvelously starry sky followed by a spectacular dawn and then by an interminable four and a quarter hour trudge up some pretty steep paths to Colle delle Boine (Pass of the Marker Stones) 2,412m through the gate (yes really) and then... oh my god... down hill before climbing another 200m up a horribly steep bit to the bothy Nino Soardi at 2,630m.
I was greeted at the refuge by my friend with a pair of clogs waiting for me on the path in which to rest my weary tootsies. As it happens the plates of meat were in perfect form, absolutely relaxed and comfortable.
I must say I was quite surprised at the set up at the bothy kitchen, fridge, solar panels - you name it they had it. I had lunch there with a surprisingly friendly and jovial bunch of people and had a great time listening to all the stories and anecdotes and watching the Ibex, marmot, and the climbers tackling Bric Boucie. The views were stunning.
I am beginning to notice that I’m surprising and getting much, much closer to animals barefoot. Being alone and making hardly any noise I suppose. A marmot came out of it’s burrow a foot from where I was standing drinking and seemed to regard me as part of the mountain until I tried to get to my camera and I passed above a dozing chamois standing below the path without it even noticing me. Now I have a camera again maybe I can get some decent shots at last.
I walked down barefoot too and think I have found my current limit - 7 hours on predominantly scree-covered paths. Trouble is you have to go slowly so it’s just about as slow down as it is to go up.
Sorry about the layout but this bloody blogspot really is terrible for laying out photos. They keep making complicated changes, none of them ever for the better, without ever sorting out the basics first.
|Down, then up to the cleft|
|The view into France|