TMB | Champex to Col de la Forclaz

If yesterday was the perfect views of Swiss mountains, rolling pastures and traditional villages then today was the complete opposite.


All the rain.

And no visibility.

It started in the night because earlier that evening we had complained about how we had brought a load of kit we didn't need. Like waterproof trousers.

Switzerland heard us.

The poor little Nemo hornet which had kept us dry all night was packed away soaking wet. Everything was wet. The waterproof trousers were on. It's the earliest we had started so we headed to a patisserie and stuffed our faces with pastries before heading off into the rainforests of Switzerland.

It was all fun and games in the rain at the beginning of the ascent to Bovine. It was raining but nobody cared. There were no rewarding views but it was alright. It stopped raining so the waterproof trousers came off. The Swiss weather gods saw this optimism and stripped it away by throwing all the rain and cloud our way.

The path was relentless zig-zags of steep ascent through forests. All fine in sunshine but the rain just made me want yesterday's hot sun to come back. I started dreaming of drying rooms at the campsite later on and tumble-dryers. I spent many minutes daydreaming of the drying room at the local mountaineering club's hut in Wales. Warm. Dry. Hot. Sunshine never happened.

Visibility was so poor that Bovine appeared out of nowhere. This little farm was a welcome sight with its barn converted into rustic accommodation and a kitchen that served homemade tarts, cake and coffee. It was warm and dry. And had the weather been good it would have offered great views over Alpine pastures surrounded by the lower mountains of the Alps. But it didn't. Because it was wet.

The rest of the trail to Col de la Forclaz was descent. Descent is harder than ascent at the best of times but adds blister that only really hurts when going downhill and you've got a very long and uncomfortable ascent ahead of you.

One positive was that I finally no longer could feel the weight of the rucksack. We are one.

I can't even say I was glad to see Col de la Forclaz because it meant pitching a soaking wet tent in the rain. I just wanted warm and dry. My dreams of a drying room were killed off pretty quickly as most people had booked in to the dorms where it was warm. And dry. So they didn't need a drying room.

Luckily a brief hour of sunshine dried the tent out but as I'm writing this now we've got full on torrential rain in the rolling pastures of Switzerland. Another wet night and so far the forecast says another wet day tomorrow.

Thanks a lot Switzerland, I don't think we are going to be friends after all.


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