After having a lovely stay at Auberge la Boerne we had to make a decision, do we take the high route up and cross the mountain range on ladders or take the low trail and skip all the ladders. The weather was bad again and you could tell at the top it was cloudy, so was it worth the trek to be disappointed again because of the weather and no views or save ourselves from all the ladder crossing, stay lower and enjoy our day? HMMM, let me think about that…. Stay low was the vote.
The trail took us up, down and around a beautiful alpine forest, we did see more vibrant mushroom, hardly anyone was out there with us. We came into a ski resort and as we were trekking up to the cable car we began to have some fog, it would ascend really heavy and then the wind would blow it right out. A beautiful site. Well, one time when the wind blew it out we were right on top of a herd of sheep and Yak’s. I have never seen a Yak and its horns are huge, Anna was behind me reminding me to look down!
We took the cable car down and it was just a short walk into Chamonix to Hotel Gormets &Italy. We were finished!!! We checked in had a glass of champagne with Aperol and then went shopping. Chamonix is the cutest ski town with lots of action. The UTMB ( Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc) was scheduled to start the next day and the town was buzzing. Volunteers were setting up the start and finish lines, corral , and award stage. They had sponsors setting up kiosk’s, the main sponsor was Columbia a company based out of Portland, Oregon. My home state, I felt so proud. Later after our room was ready it was nap and shower then back out for dinner. On our way back we ran into our friends from L.A. and some girls from La Boerne who took the high route. They assured us the weather was bad with no views and the ladders were scary with the weather conditions.
The next morning we would be on the bus to Geneva and from there on to Lausanne then to Zurich for sightseeing. However, we needed clean clothes. At 9:00pm we headed to a laundromat to wash our clothes and at 10:00pm the doors locked and the lights went out. I looked at Anna and said that after all we have been through and that we had only known each other about an hour in Spain, surely we would be best of friends until our death. Which we had also escaped a few time on this trip.
A few key words used on this trip that built a lifetime of memories for me:
- Dumbass pronounced do moss
- Sons of bitches said by Anna leaving Refugio Elana in a American accent.
- We shall not pass this way again
- In my opinion, that was very steep
- Everything Anna said in her Australian accent
- Russian Gypsies
- How many hours?
My favorite tricks for my feet:
- Foot Rubz A small green golfball size rolling ball with spikes in it to rollout my arches
- Voltaren creme. I rubbed it on morning and evening. A Nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drug. I purchase mine in Europe over the counter.
- Stretching my feet, toes and legs
- Professional Orthotics from Functional Performance ask for Derek the owner.
My favorite clothing:
- Arc’teryk jacket
- La Sportiva boots
- Smart wool socks
- OR waterproof pants
- Ice Breaker clothing which is anti microbial. You do not have to wash it everyday and it will not build up odors, a must have!
- Patagonia Underwear
Would I do it again? No. Would I recommend the TMB? Only if you are fit and I would hire a tour group.