Plan Mya to the Refuge de la Balme (Tarantaise)

Plan Mya didn’t look very promising from the outside but it was a lovely place to stay, with good food. Again we had a bedroom to ourselves, with, slightly surprisingly, our own shower in the corner. Unfortunately to go to the loo we had to go out through a store room, through another dormitory/dining area, then outside before coming in again- all delightfully higgledy piggledy.

There was a French group there-2 men and a woman with numerous children and a donkey to carry their stuff. The adults weren’t very convincing about the advantages of a donkey- at one stage yesterday it had got frightened by cows and run off. It must be pretty sure footed though because they’ve followed the same route as us today, which has been steep and rough in places (mind you, they are not here yet).

The day started with a long traverse of hillside above Lac de Roselend. The path preferred to go up and down rather than along the flat. But, being so dry, it was easier than it might have been because the guidebook warned of mud and we know from the 2nd day’s walking last year how tiresome steep alpine mud can be.

The big ascent of the day was steeply up to the Col du Bresson. The skyline comprised crazy Dolomitic spires of rock, and the path made an improbable route to the hidden col through boulders the size of houses. The gothic rock architecture continued as we descended, steeply at first, to the Refuge de la Balme. Having been another hot day, even at altitude we are glad to have an unlimited supply of water.

I’ll try to post this this evening but I doubt it will work so may have to wait until tomorrow again. I’ll be able to add pictures for the last 3 days tomorrow. All this must be pretty boring without pictures.

The party with the donkey have turned up. One of the men seems very irritated with the donkey.

The picture above is in the morning- we’ve already gone quite a way from our start at Mont Blanc in the background.The prominent pillar of rock on the skyline in the picture above is La Pierre Menta. Col du Bresson is to the left of it.

Pierre Menta from the refuge de la Balme


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