After 3 days of clouds and poor visibility, Day 4 dawned with blue skies. This was my last day to hike with Steph, who planned to meet her boyfriend in Courmayeur before heading home. I would continue for the final 6 days on my own.
We left the snow far behind as we departed our remote alpine refuge towards the busy mountain resort town of Courmayeur.
Each leg of the TMB offers two or more variations, with the “high routes” not recommended in poor weather. Today to our relief we got the chance to take the more difficult route. Spectacular views of Mont Blanc delighted us all day long, with its glaciers and adjacent valleys.
As we neared Courmayeur, day-hikers filled the paths. This was a less-welcome contrast to the typical solitude of the trail so far.
We stopped for coffee at the refuge at the Col Chécrouit, chatting with several familiar travellers we’d met over the past few days.
The established route follows a long dusty road down into town, but we opted for the shortcut- a chairlift and a gondola. This bypass eliminated an hour or two of walking; a real hotel and the promise of Italian food called to us. And I very much enjoyed the chairlift!
We checked into our charming accommodation, the Hotel Triolet, where I washed a few clothes and we both savoured long hot showers. Asking around for the best pizza in town, we landed at “Du Tunnel” where I ate an entire pizza to myself without hesitation.
The rest of the afternoon included gelato, shopping (Steph offered to carry my purchases back to Canada), and soaking up the marvelous sunshine. I enjoyed my final hours of travelling with my dear friend on the TMB.
An excellent sleep in the last quiet private room of my journey capped off a magnificent day.