Saturday, 16 August 2014

Gran Paradiso - Rif Benevolo to Rif. Mario Bezzi via Col Bassec Dere

We left Rif. Benevolo at 8.30am. following route 13d in a SW direction up the side of the alpine ridge with marmots alarm calling all the way. The path went past the abandoned Aplage de Soches then passed and over into Comba di Goletta (part of the HR6, Haute route Glacier.) As we topped over the spur we entered a stoney harsh rocky valley leading down to Lago di Goletta with a stone bridge and good photo opportunities of Ghiacciaio di Goletta and Granta Parei.
lago di Goletta with Granta Parei and the glacier Ghiaccoaaio di Goletta.

Col Bassac Dere 3082m
 After the flat area around the lake the path climbed steeply over glacial boulder moraine and snow to col Bassac Dere (3082m). There was a fresh layer of snow from last night covering the footprints from the previous day so we were the first to arrive today. The final 200m were very steep requiring pavement crampons to get enough grip to get over the cornice formed at the col.

From the col we headed up towards the Granta Parei to Col di Goletta (3117m) where we met up with the Glaswegians that we had sat with in Refugio Benevolo the prevoius night. They had just climbed the Granta Parei.
After lunch we headed back to Col Bassac Dere that had become quite busy witha large guided walking group, so we pressed on down on route 12c with spectacular views of Ghiacciaio di Gliairetta to Rif Mario Bezzi (2284m).
The weather had been good today with mostly blue skies and enough cloud to add to the look of the photos. There was still a cold wind and we had to put every piece of clothing on at the col to keep warm I was still wearing my spare socks as gloves.

Looking west beyond Col Bassac Dere to the French-Italian border

We had a five course evening meal. Ravioli soup, then a bowl of pasta, followed by a beef caserole with pickled artichoke, then cheese and finally a chocolate desert. The vegetarian option consisted of two fried eggs instead of the beef. Very few refuges cater for vegetarians.
The breakfast was good, museli at last with bread jam and tea.
The room was excellent, we had a 3 bedded room to ourselves, there were hot showers.

Looking back down our approach up Comba di Goletta and Lago di Goletta

Ascent 1007m
Descent 1023m
Dist 7km

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