Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Saturday, 30 August 2008

An Italian Border Route - 24 June to 21 August 2008, incorporating part of the GTA - Index

This unidentified flower seems a suitable 'header' for the Index to our blogs for this trip. Sue took this photo on 13 August at about 2100 metres, near the Italian village of Argentera, to the north of the Marime Alps. The diameter of the flower head is about 15-20mm. Unfortunately, the leaves are out of focus. Has anyone any idea what it might be? Marigold?

Index to Sue and Martin's blogs made during their 8 week 'Italian Border Route' walk from Menton to Saas Fee, incorporating part of the Grande Traversata delle Alpi (GTA)

Tuesday 17 June 2008 - A Sense of Panic and an overview of the route
Monday 23 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route - Prologue No 1 packing
Tuesday 24 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Prologue No 2 getting to Menton
Wednesday 25 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 1 - A Stunning Start
15 km to Rifugio Patrick Gambino
Thursday 26 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 2 - Lovely Italian Villages and a Steep Climb 18 km to Col Sgora
Friday 27 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 3 - Some Unexpected Hurdles (UHs) 24 km to Fontan
Saturday 28 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 4 - A Welcome Pause In Fontan/Saorge a rest day
Sunday 29 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 5 - The Day of the Flowers
23 km to Rifugio Allavena
Monday 30 June 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 6 - A Fine Alpine Ridge
30 km to Rifugio Don Barbera
Tuesday 1 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 7 - Flirting with the Border
19 km to Limonetto, then bus to Limone
Wednesday 2 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 8 - The Sun Shines on Limone rest day
Thursday 3 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 9 - Alpine Strawberries for Breakfast 10 km to Val del Sabbione
Friday 4 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 10 - The Hills Are Alive.....
20 km to Rifugio Soria Ellena
Saturday 5 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 11 - Under a Vermillion Sky
14 km to Terme di Valdieri then a lift to Sant' Anna
Sunday 6 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 12 - Recharging Batteries rest day
Monday 7 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 13 - An Easy Day on the GTA
15 km to Rifugio Malinvern
Summer in the Alps On Cima d'Orgials - 2647 metres
Tuesday 8 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 14 - In View of Monte Viso
17 km to Passo di Sometta
Wednesday 9 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 15 - The Race
16 km to wild camp near Rifugio E Zanotti
Happy Days view from Passo di Rostagno - 2536 metres
Thursday 10 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 16 - A Long Way Round
18 km to Pietraporzio
Friday 11 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 17 - A Lavender Day rest day
Saturday 12 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 18 - A Jungle Adventure
15 km to Col di Puriac
Sunday 13 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 19 - First Edelweiss
28 km to Rifugio Campo Base
Sunday Lunch in the Alps at Lago di Roburent
Monday 14 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 20 - The Chef's Cupboard rest day
Tuesday 15 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 21 - Medieval Italian Villages
25 km to near Colletto della Battagliola
Monte Viso from Colle di Bellino - 2804 metres
Shopping in the Alps in the alimentari in Pleyne
Monte Viso (2) from near Colletto della Battagliola - 2248 metres
Wednesday 16 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 22 - A 3000 Metre Day
22 km to Refuge Baillif-Viso
Thursday 17 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 23 - Some Good Decisions
21 km to Bobbio Pellice, then bus to Torre Pellice
Mont Blanc from Colle Seilliere - 2854 metres
Friday 18 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 24 - The Wonderful Sara rest day
Saturday 19 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 25 - Inversion
14 km to Ghigo di Prali
Inversion from Colle Giulian - 2451 metres
Posto Tappa at Ghigo di Prali
Sunday 20 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 26 - Sunshine and Showers
15 km to Balsiglia
Monday 21 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 27 - The Lonely Alp
19 km to Fenestrelle
Tuesday 22 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 28 - Sunny Fenestrelle and a Fort Visit rest day
Wednesday 23 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 29 - Half Way!
20 km to Rifugio D Arlaud
Alpine Flowers bellflowers
Thursday 24 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 30 - A Fine Route across the Susa Valley 23 km to the Clapier Lakes
Friday 25 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 31 - A Day out in France
29 km to Rifugio Stellina
The Blue Lake Lac Mont Cenis (or Lago del Moncenisio)
Saturday 26 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 32 - Small Red Dots
17 km to Rifugio Vulpot
Glacier - on the Glacier dei Rochmelon
Madonna Santa Maria
View from a Madonna at 3528 metres
Sunday 27 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 33 - Rescued by An Italian Gentleman 8 km to Usseglio
Monday 28 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 34 - First Cloudy Day
8 km to Laghi Verdi
Gandolfo Bivouac
Tuesday 29 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 35 - Fly Antidote, and a Soggy Pillow 14 km to Laghi di Trione
Wednesday 30 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 36 - News From A Shop Crawl
20 km to Fonti-Minerali
Alimentari at Pialpetta
Thursday 31 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 37 - Arrivederci GTA, Hello Lisa and Joshua 6 km to Camping Piccolo Paradiso beyond Ceresole Reale
Tuborg Beer at Fonti-Minerali
A Picnic in the Alps beside Ceresole Reale
Be Inspired - visit the GTA
Friday 1 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 38 - Grey Paradiso
20 km to Camping Pont Breuil at Pont
Saturday 2 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 39 - A Stroll in the Park
18 km to Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, then a lift to Rhêmes-Saint-Georges
The Old View - not so grey today! Gran Paradiso from a 2760 metre col near Chandally
The New View from Col di Entrelor towards Grande Rousse
Sunday 3 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 40 - In View of Mont Blanc
20 km to Planaval
Blue Skies with Val Rhêmes
Chef and Pantry heading for Valgrisenche
Monday 4 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 41 - The Lazy English rest day
Tuesday 5 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 42 - Another 'Red Dot' Adventure 14 km to Rifugio A Deffeyes
Ye Olde Blogger on AV2 above Planaval
Wednesday 6 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 43 - To The Fleshpots of Courmayeur (Or Not) 24 km to Courmayeur, then by bus to Entrèves
Mont Blanc from near Rif A Deffeyes
Thursday 7 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 44 - An Epicurian Adventure
6 km and a rest
Sempervivum montanum houseleeks
Friday 8 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 45 - A Brush with the TMB
18 km to Rifugio Walter Bonatti
Traditional slate roofs
A Mountain Hotel - Rifugio Walter Bonatti
Saturday 9 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 46 - Turning The Corner
21 km to Etroubles
View from the Breakfast Table Grandes Jorasses
One for Notchy Col de Malatra - 2925 metres
Polenta in Etroubles
Sunday 10 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 47 - No 22, A Path With a View
12 km to Rifugio Champillon
Another Sunday Lunch above Etroubles
Monday 11 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 48 - French Friends
17 km to Camping Lac Lexert in Dzovenno
Gentians (1) - spring gentians
Tuesday 12 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 49 - First Wet Day rest day
Gentians (2) - field gentians
Wednesday 13 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 50 - Another Day, Another 3000 Metre Col
25 km to wild camp near Bivacco Manenti
Leaving Lac Lexert
Valcornera - on the way to Col di Valcornera
Thursday 14 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 51 - The Matterhorn: Hello and Goodbye 18 km to wild camp in Vallone di Courtod
The Matterhorn from the approach to Cervinia
Friday 15 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 52 - Cunning Plans
7 km to St Jacques
A Cunning Plan St Jacques
Saturday 16 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 53 - First Hot Chocolate!
20 km to Gressoney-La-Trinité
Hot Chocolate
The View From Path 13 The Matterhorn again
Sunday 17 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 54 - Walser Villages
17 km to Alagna Valsesia
Monday 18 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 55 - The Last Map
24 km to Macugnaga
Chef in Action
Mountain Bivouacs (1) Bivacco Lanti
Mountain Bivouacs (2) Bivacco Lanti interior
Tuesday 19 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 56 - The Exit Route
7 km to Rifugio G Oberto
Wednesday 20 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 57 - Arriverderci Italie, Guten Tag Helvetia 19 km to Saas Grund, via Saas Fee
Madonna delle Nevi
Saas Grund - The End
Thursday 21 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 58 - A Sunny Day in the Alps
the journey home
Run From The Sun
Kit List

More to follow in due course regarding route, costs, and kit.

Friday, 29 August 2008

North of Ullapool

I am enjoying listening to Bob and Lee's podcasts of their walk along the Cape Wrath Trail in early May, though the low(ish) route the walk takes is a little disappointing.

Mountains like Ben More Assynt, Quinag and Foinaven should surely be part of the itinerary!

The podcasts are easily found at The Outdoors Station, or from the links below:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Today's image is from the area that Bob and Lee passed through on their saunter. It shows Dave Oliver on 26 March 2007, on one of Stac Pollaidh's many pinnacles, looking towards the Coigach peaks.

Here's a link to a report on that trip, including an excellent holiday cottage in Ullapool, should you be tempted. And here are some more images from 2005. Readers will possibly be thankful that I haven't got round to writing proper reports for our 2005 and 2006 visits to the area!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Jordan

One of the pleasures of returning to civilisation is catching up with Podcast Bob's output on the Outdoors Station.

But it was Andy Howell who had the pleasure of interviewing Tony Howard and Di Taylor, who have contributed regular articles about their adventures in Jordan in Adventure Travel magazine.

As the podcast explains, Tony and Di have been climbing and trekking in the mountains of North Africa and the Middle East for well over 30 years. In 1984 they discovered the climbing and trekking area of Wadi Rum, and wrote the guidebooks to that area. They return to Jordan every year and their discoveries reveal an unexpected land of forested hills, dales carpeted in flowers, huge canyons sometimes with fast-flowing rivers, caves, perfect limestone cliffs in wooded valleys and high mountains with lunar landscapes. This is the country of world famous sites of antiquity such as Petra, Pella, Ajlun and Kerak.

We had the pleasure of visiting the area for a week in November 2007. Here's a link to the blog label for that trip (finishing with this entry - you'll need to go to the bottom of the page to view the entries chronologically).

A really interesting destination. We would like to go again - our trip was really just a 'taster'.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hot Chocolate

No trip to the Italian Alps should be deprived of the opportunity to enjoy the uniquely enjoyable thick hot chocolate served up by the Italians. It took us until Day 54 to succumb, due to the startlingly fantastic weather.

The downside to the good weather was a higher incidence of flies than usual. But these were mainly like the domestic house flies we all encounter at home, and we never felt the urge to seek out fly spray, so they can't have been all that bad...

Back to Day 54's Report

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Polenta


This is how they cook polenta in Etroubles.

We chose not to have polenta for our Sunday lunch on return to the UK, though it was quite tasty in some of its incarnations in Italy.

Sorry about the little hiatus in blogging - it's a bit hard to adjust to a new daily routine, and I'm trying to catalogue about 1500 images of the trip.

A gear review, summary of the route, index to the blogs, additional pictures, and acknowledgements will follow shortly - with maybe one or two more images in the meantime.