Plan A was a five day traverse from Valnontey to Pont staying at the Vittorio Sella, Chabod and Vittorio Emmanuelle huts. Highlights were to be a traverse of the Gran Serra and the 4061m Gran Paradiso.
The latter is a most accommodating mountain allowing access in most snow and weather conditions. The Gran Serra is a different kettle of fish. 80cm of recent, windblown snow lying on the old base meant that care was needed and a traverse of the Serra out of the question. We did however have the pleasure of two nights in the Sella hut skiing what was safe. Built as a private hunting lodge for the king, we were privileged to have the place to ourselves.
I always enjoy the Gran Paradiso and we were very lucky to have such a fabulous day on the mountain. Taking our time we enjoyed every moment. With dry bread, thin jam and lukewarm tea to fuel us on our final day we set off towards the Col d’Etret. Dreams of bacon, eggs, black pudding and tomato were interrupted as the weather closed in and left us with no option but to feel our way down the Vallon della Seyva to the car. May 2017