TMB – Day 8: Refuge des Mottets – Refuge Le Randonneur
“Should be take the ski lift down to town?” Dave asked. We were just about an hour of walking away from Italian town called Courmayeur which we though would be our final destination for the day.
“I’d prefer to walk,” I said. “But I understand if you don’t want to get caught in rain again. Then the lift would be better option.”
It just started to rain again, few drops at first with increasing intensity. An hour in rain can be long.
“Let’s walk to the refuge,” Dave said. “It’s only 5 minutes away and we can have coffee there and wait to see what the weather decides to do.”
It was a lucky call. We had a signal at the Refuge, weak one to say the least but it was good enough to browse booking.com to see if there’s a place we’d like to stay. We were shocked to see the prices. Cicerone guide never mentioned this town was an expensive one and maybe there was something going on this Monday evening that would drive the prices up but cheapest was €160, no food included. The refuge offered us private room with our own bathroom and half board (dinner and breakfast) for €140.00 We stayed.
It was an interesting day to get here. We left Refuge des Mottets promptly after breakfast and with crowds of other hikers we headed up the hill to Col de Seigne (2,512 m), which is said to have some pretty darn good views.
Weather looked promising. Clouds were high, and though we knew it would be raining eventually, the thread did not seem imminent. How wrong we were.
Half way up the hill, the storm came and everything got dark. It was as if a switch was turned off. The wind came too, sharp, cold wind, and the rain started to fall which turned into a downpour with lightning and thunder. The thunder echoed off the walls we could no longer see and even though the math said the storm was at least a mile away, it was an intimidating experience.
Once we dropped from the Col, the rain stopped just as suddenly as it started. We came upon a warming hut which we used to dry off a bit. We were told rain was forecasted for the entire day, at 90 percent chance. Surprisingly the sun got our and walking down the easy gravel road and through the valley, we dried out quite well. It was an easy walk at that point, with superb views. Clouds rolled in and out and occasionally covered the tallest of the peaks but generally it was sunny and warm.
One last uphill we had to brave. It took us high above the valley, suddenly we were looking down into glaciers that were high above us not that long ago. The climb was steep but not horribly so, and it was followed by a gentle downhill. Along the entire way we could admire glaciers and waterfall and a variety of flowers growing in meadows right next to our feet.
I’m glad we stayed at the Refuge. The view s fantastic and I hope for some sunrise colors tomorrow morning.
NOTES: August 12, 2019
Refuge Elisabetta is a great stop forcoffee and snack. Beautiful view, though it’s uphill off the trail a little.
Secured a walk in room at Refuge Le Randonneur. Private room with our own shower was €140.00 (including half board for 2 people) which was much cheaper than anything we could find in Courmayeur. Courmayeur seems like an expensive town with hotels no cheaper than €160 and that’s without food. We did not expect that.
Cell signal and data are weak at Refuge Le Randonneur. We were ok to check e-mail and search booking.com but for the xample Facebook wouldn’t load. WiFi is not available.
Dinner was good. They offered vegetarian and meat option for dinner.