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TMB Day 4: Rifugio Elisabetta to Courmayeur

Ski Slopes, A Town, and A Surprise

September 5, 2020

mountains reflections in a lake

TMB Stage 4 Anti-Clockwise

15.5 km
580 m
Rifugio Elisabetta
GPX File
Map map of the hike

Waking up and having breakfast early morning with the sunrise out of the window. That’s what Rifugio Elisabetta is all about. Leaving the refuge, we descended to Lake Combal, which was relatively dry at this time of year. To cross the lake, it’s a flat walk.

At the end of the lake, by bad weather, you can follow the road to Courmayeur.

Though too small to see, Rifugio Elisabetta is below the so-called Pyramides Calcaires, center-left. Just left of the dry waterway.

In our case, though, the day climb started right there. The official TMB path slopes up, overlooking the Val Veny. A couple of hours in, we enjoyed breathtaking views of the glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif, the Val Veny, as well as the Mont Blanc of Courmayeur.

val veny
View of the Val Veny in the direction of Courmayeur, from the TMB path, coming from Rifugio Elisabetta.

From up there, we’re off to a long walk down to Courmayeur. After crossing the ski resort of Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc, there’s one steeper section in the forest to reach Dolonne.

In Dolonne, the vibe is quite different from the French villages. After a short walk from Dolonne to Courmayeur, we finally reach our hotel, shower, and change to our sandals to walk around the city.

dolonne street
Dolonne: Small streets, stone houses with a slate roof, and paved roads form a charming arrangement.

I did not take pictures from the afternoon but suffice to say that Courmayeur is pretty and has that Italian flair (you know what I mean, probably). We had a drink on the square then strolled around the pedestrian area on Viala Monte Bianco.

We found a great pizza place a bit further down called La Boite. The pizzas were delicious and much cheaper than what we’re used to in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I realized at that point that I was probably sick. I was feeling tired since reaching Courmayeur, and at the restaurant started to feel nauseated.

That night, all hell got loose.

Climbing the flanks of Val Veny, leading to the ski resort of Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc
ski slopes
Near the slopes