We finished our biggest training day ever!

As we started up the first climb, the song that says, “25 miles from home girl, my feet are hurting mighty bad…” was playing through my mind since that is how far we had to go. That and 3 big climbs totaling 9,000 feet.

Top of first climb looking down on Le Tour.

I let out a sarcastic shout when made it to the top of the first part of the first climb. Sarcastic because we only had another 1,000 vertical feet or so to go up.  As usual we saw some Ibex, including one who was doing his business in the middle of the trail.  He looked kind of upset that we interrupted him, but he did get out of the way when he was finished.

That little town is Vallorcine, which is where we were headed.

The next descent is very technical and steep.  At one point I looked at my watch to see that we were doing quite well descending at 37 minutes per mile pace!  There are no pictures because I did not want to fall off the mountain,  but just think straight down with lots of rocks in the way.

Vallorcine is a pretty little village.

After reaching Vallorcine, it was time to make our way up and over the mountain to Switzerland.  As usual, it took a while but the scenery on the way was not too awful.

I believe the technical name for these is, “purple flowers.”
Can’t tell from the picture, but this waterfall was about 100 feet high.
Yellow flowers!

After what seemed like forever but in reality was only a few minutes shy of forever, we made it to a relatively flat section of the trail that we had been on 2 years ago when we circumnavigated Mt. Blanc.  This lead us to a hated section of the trail that we remembered from 2 years ago.  Hated because at that time it was a massive ascent.  Luckily we got to descend it this time and it was much cooler than last time as well.

You are now in Switzerland.  You’re welcome.
Can’t get enough glacier pictures!

We descended into Trient and began our way up the last climb of the day.  Since we had recently been to the top of this climb from the other side, my brain wanted to believe it wouldn’t be too awful as the climb does not look so bad from the top.  At this point everyone should be laughing at my naivety.  Obviously there are no easy climbs in France or Switzerland.  They wouldn’t even put a trail up something with less than an 18% grade. By this point I am going through water like a man just out of the desert.  Fortunately there were creeks and snow along the way to fill water bottles and use to cool off.  I took to putting snow in my hat and down my shirt, both of which worked nicely for keeping me cool.

That speck up there is the witch’s hut. See blog from 2 years ago to learn more.
Almost to the hut when that mountain peeking up stopped us in our tracks.

Once we made it to the top of the climb at the witch’s hut, it was all down hill, mostly, from there.  After just under 8 hours we came into town where M proceeded straight to the bakery and bought lots of recovery foods (read: eclairs, chocolate mousse, and fresh bread).

We will now spend the rest of the night eating so we can run again tomorrow!