Tag: backpacking

Alta Via 2, Day 7: Losing Our Way

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It’s hard to believe that one could wake up hungry after last night’s meal, but such is our metabolism after a solid month of hiking that it is true. And, when we go down to breakfast, we are pleased to find all of our dining mates from last night already there, as well as a full spread of breakfast pastries. We are treated to all the usuals as well as homemade bread and butter and even a giant honeycomb.  (more…)

TMB, Day 5: Crossing the Col des Fours

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We heard that there are thunderstorms in the forecast, and we have two options to get from Elisabetta to our next rifugio today. The first is the traditional TMB, which involves a long road walk that we hear is easy but a little boring. The other option is the high route. It is supposed to be beautiful but is only recommended in good weather. We are really hoping to do the high route, so we set the alarm early in hopes that we may be able to beat the storm. (more…)

TMB, Day 4: A Curious Welcome

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Today turns out to be an unintentionally short day in terms of distance. In the planning stages of the TMB, many months ago, we decided to not stay in Courmayeur (either due to cost or availability or both—we can’t remember!). Instead, we chose Rifugio Randonneur which was another 1.5-2 hours beyond and uphill from the town.

By a stroke of good fortune, we were given a lift yesterday by the owner, Annalisa, skipping a tiring downhill and uphill trudge at the end of the day, thus saving our legs and making for a more pleasant stay last night. We would certainly have missed dinner by a long shot. Plus it gave us time to do some laundry and get it out to dry while the sun was still up! (more…)

TMB, Day 3: A Miscalculation and a Lucky Break

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Last night, we slept in a dorm room with about 18 people. There was one snorer in the room, and just guess where he was. That’s right, in the bed right next to Matt. Arrgh! It was a rough night of sleep for both of us, and, since breakfast is served beginning at 6:15, we decide to cut our losses and get up. We throw on our clothes and head downstairs to grab a bite to eat—that is, after we take some photos of the glacier wall right outside our door. What a view! (more…)

TMB, Day 1: Off We Go!

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The alarm goes off this morning, and, even though we would love to snooze just one time, we are mindful that we are sharing our dorm room with three other people. Breakfast is at 7, so it seems that the whole pension is rising at the same time to make sure that they are ready to rush the buffet when the dining room doors open. It’s our first morning on the TMB, and we are still trying to sort out what we can leave behind on this trek to make our loads lighter. We finally get it all figured out and then head down to breakfast where we are seated with the same two pairs of hikers from last night. (more…)

In the Shadow of Peak Lenin, Day 3: A Different Light

I wake up at 2 in the morning and need to use the bathroom, but I’m too lazy to get out of bed. At 5:30, I can’t take it anymore, and I finally decide to get up. The sun is just about to come up over the mountains, and a sliver of a crescent moon is hanging in the deep blue sky just above the snowy peaks. Nobody is up but me, so, after taking care of business, I walk around camp for a few minutes, taking in the beautiful pre-dawn scene at 14,435 feet. (more…)