Alps log: day 9

Wake up. Cloudy. Totally “socked in.”

Stage 9alt: la sage – col de torrent – barrage de moiry – grimetz
Dist: 10km+
Height gain: 1253m
Time: 7hrs

Minus a charming sunshower yesterday, weather thus far has been perfect. Not today. Low visibility. Can hardly see down the valley.

Reach Col de torrent in under guidebook time because I have no reason to stop and take pictures. The cloud cover is complete, both views. Up all this view with nothing to see. I pass the 20 Japanese crew from cabane du mont fort. They wave hi, i flash back the fob sign.

Taking a detour today. Since it’s a weekend, the Cabane de Moiry and the chalet du moiry are booked solid which means I’m walking an extra 2 hrs north to the town of Grimetz. Skipping Zinal altogether.

Lac de Moiry, a dammed lake under the Moiry icefall, is a turquoise shade of beautiful. As I near it, I notice a marathon mountain bike race has occupied my trail. Cyclists whip around the bend, as a race volunteer station cheers them on in boisterous French. A flyer ad pinned to a post politely says: “CYCLE RACE 22 AUGUST, VERBIER-GRIMETZ”. I have these bastards for the next 3 hrs? I try to walk along the trail, but quickly lose my appetite for this. At one point, the trail is slender switchbacks down the height of the dam, and there’s no room for both of us. I wait, cycles fly past me. Thankfully someone slips in the muddy trail, and their body twists violently with their bike, and unfolds on the trail “AHHHH” he calls out for first aid. Racers dismount and carefully walk by him. And now so do I. Sick of this, I reach the road and walk an hour and a half to Grimentz on Swiss roadway, past honking traffic, through at least one tunnel.

Dinner: soup, and “croût torrent”, which is ham, cheese, egg, over toast soaked SOAKED in wine. The town is flush with racers. Lots of people drinking. I need to get out of here. My room above Le Mélèzè is a clean single, with a tv! No channel’s in English, not even the movie channel airing Spanglish. Free, strong, wireless throughout the place. I binge. Go to bed at midnight. Whoops.

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