Monday 29 August - Rifugio Biella to
Rifugio La Varella (by Richard, and others)
AV1 Backpack - Day 2
Note: 'Translation' of Richard's diary entry has proved entertaining, if a little hit and miss. He is free to pop round and borrow the diary to enable any appropriate 'edits' to be made... (or I could send him a scan).
I awoke, and as the red wine wore off, my guilty feeling of sending Sue down to the hotel returned. (A plan had been hatched last night for Sue to go back to the car to collect a spare cagoule for Richard - nobody else had the energy.) Most of the group shuffled awake except Jenny who was her usual slow self. Breakfast was finished and the 'Angel of the Cagoule' was dispatched. The rest of the group set off in bright sunshine somewhere.
Arrived at Rifugio Sennes (where there were pigs).
Had a picturesque brew overlooking a valley.
Richard was assigned as Litter Monitor. Pictured by the Germans. (Their picture, not ours!)
Text message from Sue "Ring ASAP", but no signal. This led to many men wandering around with mobile phones looking like lost sheep.
Good walk down
to valley then steep descent to lunch. Andrew fell on his arse (but that's not
The sun was very hot and we all pitied the mountain bikers on their tough route. Suntan cream on, from Jenny's exploding bottle, and up the zigzag path up half OMC (Richard and Jenny gauge ascent data by comparison with the ascent of the Old Man of Coniston from Coniston - 750 metres) to top, then slightly descend into track to second brew stop. German now less interested - no photos.
Sue now hot on our heels - only 2 hours behind. I wanted to wait and shout "Boo" but this was rejected. Finish with a half hour up to rifugio. Have excellent beer and chat with Dutch couple.
Other events, not in order:
Blue bag with spare cag - combination lock was the ' ring asap' message.
Kept overtaking the Americans.
Martin lost his sunglasses; Sue refused to get his spare ones from the bus.
Sue arrived one hour after us, but 'That's another story'.
The 'Angel's' Day (by Sue)
Left Rifugio Biella at 7:40, lightweight. In 1 hour 20 minutes I was at the car, after jogging a lot of the way. The blue bag with Richard's spare cagoule was padlocked, and the team weren't replying to my request for the combination, so I grabbed Martin's spare yellow cag. Texts were exchanged, but unpredictably and too late to be of any help. (The yellow cag won't be seen. It spent the entire trip at the bottom of Richard's bag!)
Then, on to the same day's walk as the others - saw climbers on the lovely slabs of the hill (Croda del Becco - pictured above, above Rif Biella) we climbed yesterday.
Saw marmots - one huge one, one smaller, and one with a shrill whistle.
Had lunch at Rifugio Sennes - bread and salami. Saw spring gentians just before Rifugio La Varella. Beer and showers welcome at the rifugio.
NB Blue bag padlock code was broken near the lake, but not soon enough!
M, A, R and J: Biella 8:45, Sennes 9:40; brew stop 9:50 to 10:30; Rif Pederu 11:30 to 12:15 (speck); 2nd brew 13:30 to 14:00; La Varella 14:40; 19°C all day; nutcrackers at La Varella; 550 metres ascent, 850 metres descent.