We had stayed in Les Contamines 2 years ago in Homer and it felt good to be back. In fact our route for the day to Refuge Croix de la Bonhomme at 2446m was one we did back then as well. We had raced up and down as a day walk and recalled some fearsome gradients ahead of us.
All the more reason then to sit back and enjoy a sweet melon in the shade by Notre Dame de la Gorge and listen to another part of our book.
We set off for the anticipated 4 hour and 1400m climb just after 3 and surprised ourselves at how good we felt. With a week of hiking to condition ourselves plus he rest we couldn't help wondering where the fearsome gradients had gone.
The views were still fantastic though.
We arrived at the refuge just before 7 and got permission to camp outside before preparing dinner of buckwheat pasta alongside avocado, cucumber, shallot, garlic, ginger and turmeric. This did catch the attention of a few other refuge visitors who had all been enjoying fondue en masse inside. But it was nice to explain how we try and maintain our health and diet to support our bodies on such a challenging trek to people who seemed genuinely interested.
Later, pitched up in the bitter air at 2400m plus (our highest camp so far) we ventured back inside tonsit in the warm, plan our route and enjoy the ambience of a mountain refuge at night, with people playing cards, laughing and joking. Another first for us.
Click here for more photos from our Tour du Mont Blanc