Dolomiti: Giorno 7

Our final morning in the Dolomiti started at Rifugio Roda de Vael. The views were lovely and we set off to finish our traverse of the Masare Crest before heading back to the car and Munich. We retraced our steps of the previous afternoon in much better weather, stopping to watch a couple of Marmots wrestling, and were soon back in the little hanging meadow. At the top of that is the rather nice Fenestre del Diavolo, a window in the rock, complete with a metal cross, now leaning at quite an angle, filling it. From there the cables start again, with a fun section into a small gully that seems to have a lot more footholds now than I remember from my previous visit. The cloud had unfortunately come back in by this stage, but we pressed on to the summit of Roda de Vael, and were lucky enough to get occasional glimpses of the valley below. After waiting on the summit for a while hoping the cloud would clear, we continued down to Passo di Viaolon, and descended back to the Paolina chair.

Marmots wrestling on the way to the start of VF Roda de Vael.
Marmots wrestling on the way to the start of VF Roda de Vael.
Dave, Rachel and I at the summit of Roda de Vael.
Dave, Rachel and I at the summit of Roda de Vael.
The view from Passo Viaolon.
The view from Passo Viaolon.

Cham with my parents…

My mum and dad were keen to come out to Chamonix again so way back in January I booked flights for a weekend in the middle of June. Mid June is a good choice: sunny; hot, but not too hot; still fairly quiet; most lifts are open.

Plan Praz to La Flégère

After a rainy start the weather got better, and hotter…

This was the perfect opportunity to go for a walk taking advantage of the lifts: Plan Praz up, and La Flégère down. I’d been hoping my parents would be up for this. It’s not a huge walk for those who are used to walking in the hills, there’s a good path, and the ups and downs aren’t too great, but for those with aged knees and ankles it could be a little too far.

We decided to take it easy, walking slowly, and stop as often as we needed. For much of the journey we could see our destination, so we could also see our progress. The views were fantastic, as ever, the air was sweet, and the breeze was cool. Perfect walking conditions.

Elliotts and the Aiguille Verte
Walking to La Flégère
An inquisitive, cute looking, and wet (after the previous mega rain) marmot near Plan Praz

There was a slight sting in the tail towards the end of the walk where the path steepened considerably. I even heard my dad swear (something I very, very rarely hear) as he struggled up the last few steps. Fortunately he recovered quickly after a few minutes rest, and we continued on with thoughts of what rewards we might get at the end of the journey.

A rewarding cool beer at La Flégère

Poème à Lou

I thought that my parents might need a day in bed after all the exercise the day before, but no! After a very good nights sleep they were ready for more adventure, but not perhaps the adventure Pete and I were up for. They decided a day window shopping in Chamonix and sampling the many coffee and cake shops was the best adventure for them, while we went climbing.

We took the lift up to le Brevent and walked down to find Poème à Lou.

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Poème à Lou
Pete at the first tricky bit of Poème à Lou

Unfortunately we didn’t have great success. A combination of things conspired, but the main problem was lack of finger fitness on the initial steep start. Thoroughly demoralised we eventually descended back down to the valley for a long gin and tonic and a special meal out.

So, no big ticks on the climbing front, but a massive tick for my parents and another wonderful weekend in Chamonix.