TMB | Col de la Forclaz to Argentiére

Facing up the fact you have to get out of your sleeping bag and pack away a soaking wet tent in the rain is not much fun.

Yesterday's slog in the rain to Col de la Forclaz was grim but spirits never waned too low. The journey to Argentiére started with high spirits just like the day before. It was still raining but gradually it eased as we made to climb to the Swiss border with France at Col de Balme at 2191m.

Col de Balme is a high mountain pass with stunning views of the Alps seen from the top. We saw nothing. Nothing but rain and cloud.

The final part of the ascent up to the Refuge at Col de Balme was all the weather thrown at us at once. The temperature dropped, the rain got heavier and the winds were flying in from all directions. I've never ran so quickly at 2000m to get out of the weather and into the Refuge.

It was warm and dry and I ate a plate of chips before it was even midday. We dried off the waterproofs around the stove (very rustic) before summoning up the courage to get back out into the weather and on the trail into France.

The TMB trail is supposed to go along to Aiguillette des Possettes but since there was nothing but cloud and rain any views would not have existed so we ran (almost literally) down into Le Tour at the beginning of the Chamonix valley.

From there we took a path through the forest into Argentiére were we decided that the thought of camping again and having to pitch a wet tent (again) was not such an inviting idea. We wanted a roof over our heads so we found a room at a hikers' guest house at the end of Argentiére. It was warm, quaint and rustic. And it meant we could finally dry everything that had been wet since we woke up in Champex.

The food on offer was simple but just what was needed. Soups, cheeses and beef bourguignon. Perfect.

There was just one small issue. I started to feel sick. Very sick. I thought I was fatigued, or hungry, or both. I had to leave the dinner table and head up to our room. Within an hour I was sick and was up most of the night.

The night before our last day on the TMB and I got a sickness bug.

Great stuff.


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