Saturday, July 10, 2010

Val Veny

When we did the Tour du Mont Blanc in 2005, we tented near the Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini, just down from the Col du Seigne, the French/Italian border. The Elisabetta lies at the base of three glaciers, the Petit Mont Blanc, the Estellita, and the Lex Blanche, and even during a wild Alpine thunderstorm that night, we could hear the ice calving, the rocks falling. Or so we thought. Then, about midnight, we were attacked by the red fox, first a jab at the foot of the tent, then a terrible rip at the head, and our food bag being pulled away. (Hey, it's not grizzly country). I held on to the food bag, and we suffered the rest of the night with a 3 foot tear in our little tent. We resolved the next morning to head straight into Courmayeur, for repairs and relief. Ultimately, we repaired the tent with "American tape" purchased at the hardware store. But we took the low road into Courmayeur and missed some of the more spectalcular scenery of the higher "official" TMB route. Tuesday I hiked back up nearly to the Elisabetta, then climbed up to the high route, and followed it back to our campground, via the Rifugio Maison Vielle and the Rifugio Monte Bianco.
Looking up the Val Veny toward the Col de Seigne and
France; the Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini is right center







Other people have been here...











Monte Bianco from Val Veny











Looking up to the Innominata Face of Monte Bianco







Glacier Miage, I think








Blue gentians; flowers all around








Miage Glacier and its huge moraine










Monte Bianco and the Aiguille Noire











The Grandes Jorasses through the trees, and
some of the trail












Dining room of the Rifugio Monte Bianco; time for a cold
Birra Moretti

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