Up and out of bed at 6:30 after yet another partially sleepless night. I don’t know what’s going on with my sleeping, went down to breakfast to find a king’s feast waiting. Scott cheffed up bacon and eggs while we gorged on cereal, yogurt, ham, cheese and bread. What a relief to finally have a high calorie breakfast prior to a big day in the mountains. The hut fare of Nescafe, bread and jam just doesn’t carry a body that far.
Caught a ride to the hydro plant at the end of the road, and were on the snow by 8:30. The slog up to the base of Mt. Collon was long and flat, the sky was spitting some misty rain and the snow was unpleasantly crusty. We made the hairpin at Mt. Collon where we climbed a small rise, off in the distance was a long train of bright colors.. A lot of teams were coming up from Vignettes. We had to wait in line to round a bit of a dicey corner, thankfully I had ski crampons. Scott had to boot it - would have been a bad fall if you’d gone off.
After the corner we trucked up the glacier to the Bertol hut. The skin track was crowded, but well packed, I just put my head down and pushed one ski in front of the other. Bertol is a crazy place. We gained the col, dropped our skis and then followed a chain on some high exposure icy rocks, up a ladder, another chained section, another ladder and then we were at the door; it was 1:00 – so 4.5 hours Arolla to Bertol. The hut filled up fast, it was at capacity and we were lucky to get beds. This is the first time we’ve been crowded in a hut.
Three French guys showed up at 6:30 – dinner time – with a large husky named Denver. They shared our table. This trio was the only other non-guided group in the cabane. Funny, we are some of the youngest people in the hut.
Cabane du Bertol - How do you get in there?
Ohh that's how
Bill climbing the ladder - not a good place to look down
Enjoying well earned eight dollar beers
Scott and BSAT on the sun deck