Having crossed from France on the Col de la Seigne, we woke to snow in Italy, and there was a bit of back and forth at the breakfast table. Even the experienced global hikers, the Norwegian couple, were considering the shorter and easier valley walk into Courmayeur, in order to evade the snow on the mountain route.
A young woman running/hiking the TMB in five days said she wasn’t thinking too long about it. She was taking the ‘high route’, and off she went. I soon followed.
Yep. It was winter. At times, the snow covered the trail completely. Only a man’s boot prints led the way. I’d seen these the day before on the variante and had followed them when in doubt where to go.
The wind was pretty bad still, and I decided this whole valley was a big wind tunnel. One woman I’d met at the Caban said she’d hiked around the area for three days. All of them had been excessively windy.
A Valley of Green
Then, suddenly, I came around a corner, and the wind stopped. Just like that. Ahead of me was the loveliest of green valleys.
This wasn’t the Courmayeur valley yet. It was off to the right and over the Col Chécrouit (1956 m). But from that point on, I started peeling off layers. Right down to my t-shirt.
The trail came through the town of Dolonne into Courmayeur. The view above is from my hotel room, the Hotel Courmayeur. I highly recommend it. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such incredible customer service. Beautiful town, too.