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near Breuil, Valle d’Aosta (Italia)
Our first night of the tour was a snowy one. About 20 cm of snow and the weather predictions for the second day were not encouraging. We had 3 options: stay at the refuge till next day, going up 1 km till Testa Grigia (Plateau Rosa) and take the cable car to Cime Biancha or going all the way down via the Theodulpass. We took the third option hoping for some weather change. With full winter gear and crampons, we reached the winter ski lift (Bontadini) which serves the Theodulpass. A small old church (Cappella Bontadini) is found there. Bontadini was an italian alpinist and a memorial plaque is found inside the chapel saying: "The landscape in front of you wasn't always as you see today". Take the trail to the left (if you continue straight you will reach "Breuil-Cervinio"). Continue your walk till "Cime Bianche" lift station (2831 m) where you can see the cable cars going up and down from and to Testa Grigia (3479 m). It was snowing all day but fortunately the visibility was acceptable and there was no wind. In these good conditions, we continued our way up to "Colle superieure della cime bianche 2982 m", a mountain pass to the wonderful Rollin valley. The descent is steep via well-made zigzags to the Gran Lago. The descent from here is pleasant and soon you will reach Alpe Mase farm at 2400 m. At some point later you will find an intersection. Youn can take your left towards Résy (Normal TMR) or continue straight on the variante (Trail 6) to reach Saint Jacques. We choosed the latter option because we were planning to take another variante to Gressoney-la-trinité from Saint Jacques via Colle di Pinter. The trail to Saint Jacques is beautiful with beautiful small towns on the way.