TMB Stage 9

For a difficult day of hiking, this one turned out to be quite lovely. The stats were big today! 10 miles, 4,000 feet each of up and down. Thankfully I was feeling pretty good the entire time. It helped that we were moving at a good steady pace all day as well. Just fast enough to be on the verge of tired, but not so fast that I actually was.

On our way out of Trient we passed this . . . establishment? Apparently the Swiss are into having their piss and love in the same small wooden structure.

The day started with a climb. 3,300 feet of climb! While it was mostly through forest, there were occasional glimpses of the Alps beyond. We picked up a fifth member of our group for a while as one of the local chats (cats) decided to tag along for a quarter mile or so. Thankfully it did not attack. Then, shortly after the chat left us to lick a snail we picked up a Brisbanite who had been separated from her group. She eventually left as well to drink some tea.

As we climbed we came across several comfortably space picnic tables.
We also saw these really cool blue beetles.
It was a weird kind of cloudy on the way up.

We had spotted a refugio on the map near the top of the climb and had a tentative plan to stop there for a drink or snack. I’m glad we did stop because I scored a tasty brownie and IPA. As we were begining our first descent a cloud rolled in covering our mountaintop in a thick fog/cloud. It made our first downward portion really interesting weatherwise. It was super windy, we were in a cloud, we could see blue sky above, and sometimes got a peek of the Arve Valley below.

Drinking beer from a fancy glass in a refugio on the Swiss/French border.
Molly in a cloud.

After bottoming out about 700 feet below the refuge we began to climb again, this time to our first summit of the trip, l’aiguillette des posettes. I guess one way to think about the TMB is that the entire thing is just a ridiculously long approach to a very average mountain.

I hiked for 9 days to summit l’aiguillette des posettes and all I got was this picture.

After the summit we started heading down. 3,000 feet down on steep rocky trail. Like the start it was mostly through forest, but there were occasional views of the Arve Valley bellow us. 3,000 feet down is a LONG way down. Maybe even further than 3,000 feet up. Every switch back felt like it should rightfully be the last. After what seemed like an eternity, a road and Tré-le-Champ came into view.

The Arve Valley from above.

This was the spot where we’d intended to split from the main TMB trail to reach our hotel for the night. Although it was only another mile and a half or so, I decided to check the bus schedule and found there was one heading right to our hotel in 12 minutes. I also discovered that the bus stop was a 13 minute walk away.

Running after the hike we had just done didn’t seem like a possibility. The draw of the pool was strong though and we all ran every step we could. We made it to the stop with less than a minute to spare. We can all sleep well with the decision to ride since we’ll be taking a bus back to that same station tomorrow to pick up right where we left off.

We spent the afternoon hanging out around the pool. We showered and relaxed. Then we headed to the nearby restaurant Aux Dix Vins for a dinner of french onion soup, escargots, fondue, salad, and cured meats. I think this may have been my second favorite day of the hike!

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