• The next day is a quiet 4 hour trek to Planaval and a stay at the only accommodation there – the Hotel Paramount – friendly enough, but memorable for the flies! (situated as it is, amongst vast herds of cattle).
• A lovely day followed from Planaval to La Thuile across a long ascent by a meandering stream to Haut Pas with great views back over the Valle d’Aosta and Gran Paradiso – then to Rifugio Deffeyes and then a long descent alongside a fantastic cascade – this section proved to be quite busy but deservedly so.
• The following day involved, it has to be said, a very tedious and seemingly never ending trek in searing heat along the Vallone di Chavannes to the Col de Chavannes. However, the misery was all made worth it on arrival at the col because from here there is a truly breathtaking view of the whole of the Mont Blanc massif.
• We spent some time here just taking in the views and watching paragliders on the summit –– then down to Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini. For me, this was the best location we stayed in – situated as it is at the foot of the spectacular Lex Blanche glacier.
• The final day of the AV2 takes you down into Cormayeur – although mostly downhill – the day was not without its moments – the morning was calm and we had some stunning shots of the peaks reflected in the lakes in the valley.
At the end of the trek we had several days left in Cormayeur and we filled this with three walks – all of which I’d highly recommend. A good tip is to avoid staying in expensive Cormayeur – we stayed in Dolonne, a charming village just over the river, about 5 minutes walk from the centre of Cormayeur at the excellent Hotel Ottoz. One day we caught the bus the Arnex and walked to the Grand Col Ferret and then the Tete de Ferret (this was the only day when it looked as though it might rain………. it didn’t!).
A two day trek – the Val Ferret circuit – saw up catch a bus to Planpincieux and walk to Rifugio Bonatti (3 hours) – after an overnight stop we then went via the Pas Entre Deux Sauts, Cos Cepin, Rifugio Bertone (lunch) and down into Cormayeur – 7 hours. This great walk gives superb panoramic views of the Mont Blanc Massif throughout – the other highlight was seeing a family group of Chamois high up on a rocky ledge. The Bonatti hut received top marks from the group for food and comfort!
Our final day walk was a classic – Mont Chetif (2343m) from Cormayeur – a great rocky route with a superb view over the town, the tunnel, Monte Bianco and Val Ferret – back via Notre Dame De La Garrison (6 hours) – highly recommended if you are there and have just a spare day to fill.