Sunday, August 5, 2012

Return To Courmayeur Again: Rifugio Bertone, Again

So we drove on, south and west through Switzerland, past old friend Champex and the eastern periphery of the Mont Blanc massif, under (!) the St. Bernard Pass, through Aosta, and up to one of our favorite places, once more, Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. The weather was variable and problematic, but we resolved to hike up to the Rifugio Bertone, 2,000 feet over Courmayeur, and further up on the TMB, in order to see some of the views we missed due to weather in 2005. I had seen some of this from the vicinity of Rifugio Bonatti in 2010 and 2011, but not nearly so close to Mont Blanc's Brenva Face as at Bertone. We spent the night at the refuge, in the dortoir, enjoyed a dinner of mostly cheese polenta, some beef, some soup, etc., and the company of a Danish couple doing parts of the TMB in reconnaissance for a later trip with their grand-daughters. The next day we indeed climbed another 1,500 feet, saw what we wanted to see, and then did the whole 3,500 feet back down to Courmayeur. Vicki's knee passed another, more formidable, challenge.
Courmayeur below, from Rifugio Bertone

64x digital magnification: our camper at the parking lot a few
hundred meters south of the town center; it's the only
camper parking in high season, which is now

Aiguille Noire and Monte Bianco from Rifugio Bertone

Breakfast next morning: a bowl of strong coffee and assorted
sweet and grainy things

In the dortoir; we had the far, corner bunks, left; 40 euro
per person, including dinner and breakfast

Dining room

A couple miles across the Val Ferret, the Italian side of
Monte Bianco

Left, top of Le Geant, right, the Grande Jorasses

Val Ferret, looking toward the pass to Switzerland

The trail goes ever on, but we didn't this time

Rifugio Bertone, one of the better settings on the Tour

Vicki before The Disputed Rock, near where the trail rises
out of Courmayeur; she won that bet

No comments: