7.45 Early start from the Refuge Elizabetta with blue skies and wind! Today we will be walking away from the Val Ferret and the Mont Blanc over Col de la Seigne to France. Ciao Italy!
Just before reaching the Col we 'discovered' another building that was not on the map. Rebuilt in 2013, la Casemetta was once a military installation now turned into a mountain museum and emergency shelter. As we approached there was a lady with a telescope, she offered for us to look. We saw a Alpine ibex, how she found it with just the telescope is amazing since this thing was basically camouflaged into the background. She then pointed it at Mont Dolent and showed us 3 'dots' moving toward the summit, people who had slept somewhere on the mountain and were climbing up the to the summit by 9.00. A-MAZ-ING. I have so much respect for those people who can do that.
9.40 When we arrived at the Col de la Seigne there were tons of people coming from the other direction. We sat and had a short snack. It was quite cold there despite the warm valleys. Col's are the lowest point to traverse a mountain between two valleys, that means the wind also likes to use that route too. I decided at that point I really needed one of those packable down/synthetic jackets, I was COLD.
12.00 The walk down to the valley was mostly trying to avoid the people coming from the opposite direction. We started to be able to categorize the different types of people/groups on the trail. More on this in a later post. We reached la Ville des Glaciers and had to decide to either continue down the valley taking the longer and safer route OR the shorter route that passes over an additional Col that could be covered in snow on a shale field. Since we are both chicken-s*$t we decided to go the longer, safer route.
The way down the valley was a road hike so we also decided to take the little bus *cheat*. The only problem, our smallest bill was a 50 euro and the driver wasn't taking it. Fortunately there were several other people hanging around and we were able to break it to smaller bills which the driver gladly accepted.
14.00 The time we saved from taking the bus we decided to spoil ourselves with an awesome lunch. Normally we eat a light sandwich or snacks, not today, we went full on big lunch. We might regret it later?
In the little village of les Chapieux was the Refuge de la Nova, conveniently 50 meters from the bus stop and also at the trail head for our final leg of the day. We ordered the regional standards (as you should always do!) the Tartiflette and the Croûte au Beaufort.