Trient to Arpette: the Tour du Mont Blanc
Tuesday 3rd August
Mark and I were keen to take the high route, over the Fenetre d'Arpette,
but we were a little worried about splitting the party in two. And then
it was raining in the morning anyway. So we all headed off on the longer,
lower route to the north.
We did the climb up to the Col de la Forclaz in the rain, but after
that the rain mostly stopped and it was just overcast. It's a sidling
climb from the Col up to Alp Bovine, where we had drinks in a buvette.
After a section of steepish descent in the mud, we then had lunch on a
rock shelf between the forks of a creek. After that an easier
descent and some road walking took us to Arpette.
At Arpette we had a room to ourselves (with blankets but no sheets,
so the others hired sleeping sheets). I did some laundry, showered,
and had a tarte aux myrtilles.
Carol found a romance novel in French on the hotel's shelf of books,
while the only English choice was a translation of Arturo Perez-Reverte's
Purity of Blood, a historical novel set in early modern Madrid,
which I read nearly half of. I also delved into a textbook on Swiss
commercial law (in French!).
Wednesday 4th August
Breakfast was not as good as we'd become accustomed to, with lousy coffee
and not such a range of food.
But there were nice views up the Val d'Arpette.
From the Relais d'Arpette we walked down to Champex, where there's a
nice little lake, and I couldn't resist buying an apple turnover from
a patisserie. Then we got the bus to Ferret (which stopped at the train
station in Orsieres for ten minutes).
Next: over the Col Ferret
Previous: over the Col de Balme