Statistics: mileage 7.3 miles 4 hours

Breakfast was far more substantial this morning which made our tummys very happy! As we were leaving the Rifugio, the news crews and family members of the lost crew on the ill fated B-17 began arriving for the ceremony to commemorate the plane crash on November 1, 1946. It was to be a private affair so we left a little early to honor that desire.

We checked the trail sign just below Rifugio Elisabetta and were then on our way.

Leaving the property there was a scattered group of old military buildings that had been repurposed as shepherd’s huts.

The trail dropped steeply to Vallon de la Lee Blanche with its small group of lakes. The light was just right to capture a clear reflection of the mountain backdrop.

The Mont Blanc mountain range had glaciers spilling from every slope possible. These glaciers had created a mass of grey morraine (ground rock left behind by the ever moving glacier, in this case, Glacier de Miage).

This was a spectacular day for walking the balcony with fine views down into Val Veni far below.

We climbed up and down this grassy balcony all the while in awe of the scenery around us.

The cattle on this mountain were enjoying the good life!

Some kind soul provided a glass for passers-by, who could gratefully enjoy the cool spring water.

Entering a small cirque we were amazed to find a number of marmots out for a sunbath.

Rather than drop down to Courmayeur for the night, we decided to remain on the mountain at Rifugio Maison Vieille on Col Cecrouit. This rifugio is a charming place run by the very cordial Giacomo.

We were delighted to have an abundance of animals everywhere, including dogs, a kitten, and horses. The dogs’ job was to keep the horses off of the lawn in front of the Rifugio, a job they did very well.

Unfortunately, at this refuge we had to say good bye to some friends that we had made over the past several days. One of the girls had injured her knee, was unable to continue and had to limp down the mountain to Courmayeur to catch a bus to the airport. She was one of several other hikers who had knee problems over the course of our trek.

Our host, Giacomo, put us up in a cute, little, stone cottage for four with yellow flowers all around, which had been a stable he converted to living quarters.

After settling in we headed to the bar area to play games, read and, of course, to enjoy some delicious pastries! About this time the sky opened up and poured rain for the next 24 hours. After a delicious dinner, we scurried back to our cottage for the night.

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