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~ Friday 26th September 2014

Whilst it's rarely crowded in Arolla, the Autumn leaves the mountains truly deserted. Peaks that can feel busy in peak season take on a different character when the huts close - wild and adventurous. Hauling heavy 'sacks loaded with 3 days of food out of Arolla, we passed 2 people walking down the path - the last people we were to meet for 3 days!

Dawn from the Col de Chermotane

The Vignettes winter room is warm and cosy. Home for 2 nights - just the 6 of us and a few mice!

High on the Éveque SW ridge

Day 1: the excellent traverse of the Éveque. Short, but with surprisingly tricky rock climbing and some "airy" positions!

With the forecast promising a settled high pressure and no precipitation, we were surprised to find 10cm of fresh snow in the morning! We went back to bed while the weather cleared, and were rewarded with a fine, clear day. Plan A was to traverse the Pigne and Mont Blanc de Cheilon, but the snow and late start meant (as so often!) that Plan B was needed, and we enjoyed a wild and beautiful traverse of the Pigne d'Arolla instead.

Leaving Vignettes in fresh snow

Chilly on the Pigne summit!

Dent very Blanche

Descending towards the Dixence dam

Mur de la Serpentine