8th July, Refugio Bonatti 2025m – Grand Col Ferret 2537m – Gite de la Léchère, Ferret 1877m, 6 h
We followed the recently re-routed TMB path from Rifugio Bonatti on a traverse across the hillside, but it still descended to the valley floor at Chalet Val Ferret (1,784m) before beginning the stiff climb to the Refugio Elena and on to the Grand Col Ferret. Again by our lunchtime stop at the Refugio Elena we were already soaked. There was no sign of the Glacier de Pre de Bar which should dominate the view to the North, flowing down from Mont Dolent on the border of France, Italy and Switzerland. It could and did get worse! At the Grand Col Ferret at 2,537m the whole view was replaced by a whiteout, snow on the ground and in the air, with a strong wind blowing. We were now in Switzerland, but there was no time to be wasted before descending, fortunately less steeply, to the farm buildings of La Peule. Here Margrit and Regina continued straight down to Ferret in the Swiss Val Ferret to catch the bus and train home as planned. Peter and I took an alternative and as it transpired very muddy route to the small Refuge at Lechère (1,680m). Uli who had just come from Basel was waiting for us there.