A bad weather option, positioning for a big mountain day the next day



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FATMAP difficulty grade



Clearly this is not the route choice you would take if you had stable slopes and a good forecast.

In the event we had a howling N wind and temperatures that were -17C in the hut in the morning, so inevitably digit-threatening frostbite conditions.

We were keen to keep moving, hence positioning ourselves in this way to Ollomont, to enable an excellent mountain day, the following day.

By preference you would take the route, well described elsewhere on FATMAP, from the Grand St Bernard to the Valsorey Hut, from where you are into the standard Haute Route.

Fit people can then easily link the Valsorey to the Vignettes Huts.

Indeed, with the Chanrion Hut closed, it has been commoner to do this recently.

The Chanrion Hut is being renovated, so hopefully will be open, giving another accommodation option, from spring 2021 onwards.

If you are unlucky enough to have to take the same route as us, then it is quite straightforward.

You are broadly descending into Italy, through to the village of Etroubles.

You can do this almost entirely on ski, but there onwards walking on the road becomes inevitable.

We managed to miss out a couple of short sections of road, doing a little skinning and skiing, which added variety and interest, avoiding the need to drop down all the way to Valpelline.

The final section is a short skin up to Ollomont, which is a remote and charming small village, well placed to access the big mountains from the S.

This valley is dominated by the bulk of the Grand Combin, on the nearby Swiss/Italian border.