Refuge De La Croix Du Bonhomme – Refuge Robert Blanc
Friday 14th August 2020
Last 3 blogs now have video footage added at the end of each if you want to go back and check them out 👌
This hike was supposedly going to be tougher than our previous day’s.
We had two options to take. Option one would take us on a low path and keep us on the TMB, and option two would take us on a higher pass with a very uphill detour to an amazing rufuge which is off the TMB but which we could rejoin again.
We chose option two (of course) as we had researched a refuge we really wanted to reach, Refuge Robert Blanc…named after the famous mountaineer…and the location was out of this world.
So we leave our refuge at 8.30am to give us enough hours to complete the journey ahead.
And straight away upwards we head to Col des Fours before dropping a very long way down to the valley floor at La Ville des glaciers.
The downhill trails are harder than the uphill ones, the gradient is so steep it plays havoc with your knees and feet and is so long that it can be soul destroying. The elevation gain can be decieving. On paper, it doesn’t look too bad, in reality your climbing hundreds of metres through new passes each day and then losing all of that elevation on the way down just to do it all over again!!
After a short hike along the valley floor we proceeded to hike upwards again, rather steeply.
As we climbed slightly higher our eyes were scanning the tops of the mountains trying to see where exactly this refuge is as we knew we should be able to see it.
Eventually it came into view. It appeared to be hanging off a cliff, extremely high up and from here it looked unreachable.
How do we reach it….it could only be achieved by climbing higher and higher and higher up a continuous steep gradient.
All around us were water falls, I’m not going to lie and say this took away the pain of the incline cause it 100% did not but they were very beautiful all the same.
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery of why we climb”.
It felt like we had been going up forever. We eventually reached what I thought was the top but it wasn’t and we had to climb up once more slowly reaching some summer snow and creeping ever closer to the foot of a huge glacier above us.
The hike did get slightly more interesting as we scrambled and did a small ridge walk then a boulder field crossing which I always like as it takes my mind of climbing upwards.
Eventually Refuge Robert Blanc came into view and I have never felt more grateful. This mountain hut is perched at 9,000 feet and what a spot it’s in.
Tonight as we sit eating our evening meal it makes me think about this humble bit of food, up here on this spot, with these views, it tastes better than any three course meal in some fancy restaurant. Context is everything as they say!