Sadly the forecast continued to be correct about the rain for most of today as well. We set out from the refuge quite late by refuge standards, around 0900, and were treated to a little sun and some magnificent rainbows in front of the still visible parts of the glacier poking out from the low clouds. But as we went further up the Val Ferret the drizzle turned to rain and turned to driving, icy sheets at times. It was exhilarating in part but also exhausting as we slipped on muddy uphill paths.
We reached Refuge Elena after about 2 hours and took the chance to get warm and eat our trail food in the dry, seeing many familiar faces from last night's refuge doing exactly the same thing. Some said it would clear up. Others, we heard, were turning back from the 500m ascent to the Col Grand Ferret where Italy and Switzerland meet.
We decided to continue.
Thankfully by the time we ventured out the rain had abated slightly and the slippy, steep ascent was drier than expected. At the top we entered a cloud and the air was bitter but we had reached Switzerland.
Descending gently we left the cloud behind and were phased to join up with two British hikers who we continued the rest of the way to our planned camping at La Fouly with. Once there we also reunited with two hikers from Texas we had meet the previous day who were also going to the same camping. So, after stocking up on fresh salad in the store, we got pitched up on a really very sociable camping.
A special treat was the large warm common room where we cooked dinner and chatted with our new trail friends as the sun set and the cold, drizzly air turned even note bitter. Just time then for a quick shower and turn into our warm sleeping bags.
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