2018

Day 54 – higher and higher in the Alps

We have now reached Camp 2, Bourg-Saint-Pierre at 1632m. It was a long climb over 14Km from Orsières at 887m. Along the way, our path rose steeply then plunged, recklessly surrendering hard won altitude. Even at the halfway cafe the WCs were downstairs, adding to the descent and ascent. We are still below the tree line so oxygen is present but not plentiful.

Our support team have done a magnificent job to get us to this point. Claude & Marie have just departed for the short drive back to their home near Calais and Christof will leave for his home in the morning. Thank you all. Paul and I will then make our first attempt at reaching the Great St Bernard Pass.

The weather was fine today, sunshine and a light wind with the temperature in the mid 20s. But as I drank my apple juice in the cafe this morning I was horrified to see ominous white clouds rapidly forming like smoke signals above the peaks. Alpine storms are no laughing matter and by the time we arrived at Camp 2, the sky was full of thunderous black clouds over the little village of Bourg-Saint-Pierre.

I checked my AccuWeather app and the omens for tomorrow are bad. There may be an opportunity for an attempt at the Pass mid morning but the storms will return early afternoon. So, if we go, we will have to travel “Alpine style” to use mountain jargon. Or we can stay in Camp 2 (The Hotel Au Petit-Velan) where the cheese fondue is equally dangerous.

Not a water slide but a feed to the hydro electric power station

This is our way

The pilgrim lift but not working today
Our Camp 2 Hotel Au Petit-Velan

About Tim

Pilgrim on the Via Francigena

4 comments on “Day 54 – higher and higher in the Alps

  1. Hi Tim
    Nice to hear, that you and Paul already reached Camp two 😝. Please be careful, because the weather forecast for tomorrow is really not very good! Better stay a day longer in Camp two. Because it’s not easy to walk up to the pass in mist and rain and it could be dangerous! The weather forecast is better for Sunday and then for Monday almost perfect again.
    I reached Aigle today and continue tomorrow to Saint Maurice. Will cross the pass on Monday/Tuesday. By the way: I saw two other pilgrims today. An English couple (Lindsey and Malcolm). They started yesterday in Lausanne.
    Take care, Ruedi

    • Thanks for the warning; we’ll try in the morning as soon as the rain stops. There are more storms forecast in the afternoon. Hope you catch us up

  2. Celia & David

    Thanks Tim for the stunning pics of the challenging Alps . After all your comments about croissants ,we. are now addicted to them with ham melted cheese and Dijon mustard which we have for breakfast sitting on our Patio . Heat wave continues here , 32 degrees today and no sign of respite.Luckily , the only climbing we have to do is up the stairs at home. !!

    • I can’t believe the summer I’m missing. You have the prettiest patio and I’m sure the croissants make a perfect breakfast any time of the year

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