Day 3 - Les Champieux - Col de la Seigne - Refugio Elisabetta
Although today's walk started on a road with plenty of confusing signs to cause us pause, the scenery was great. A glacial-melt fed river to our right led the way along the gradual slope.
Taking lots of photo breaks slowed us down, but it was fun chasing the small furry marmots around the countryside.
As we approached the highest elevation of the day, the Italian Alps loomed large in front of us. A layered tapestry of mountains, one could now clearly see the allure of the Alps. While I have seen much higher, bolder and more majestic mountains, the weaving of one mountain after another provided a texture I had never witnessed.
We ambled along comfortably until we reached Refugio Elisabetta, or shall I say when we reached the base of the path leading up to the refugio, we discovered that the book left out a little detail. The short, but painfully steep climb up to it. The facade of the building was the nicest of any refugio so far. The bunk-style dormitory had eight people sleeping in a row and stacked three rows high. The narrow mattresses were connected with no room what-so-ever.
At dinner, a friendly French guy named Jim invited me to shoot Mount Blanc in the good light. In the name of international diplomacy, how could I refuse? So, just as dinner ended we left with two other trekkers and headed back up the trail. Mount Blanc was indeed bathed in beautiful late day light. Jim commented, “The Italian side is ugly, unlike the beautiful snowy French side.” Yes, there is national pride everywhere.
The story continues...