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near Gressoney-La-Trinitè, Valle d’Aosta (Italia)
We started our 4th day by crossing the river and following the trail number 9 to Stafal. The walk is beautiful next to the Lys river following the "Sentieri del Lys". We reached Stafal after a 5 km-walk and around 200 m ascent. You can refill your water bags or bottles at Stafal (check waypoint). Cross the bridge and search for the 7C trail leading to Colle della Salza (2890 m). We choosed this variante of the TMR because it is more scenic and it crosses a high mountain pass. The trail heads up north with superb views of the Lys glacier, then east (7 C) into the Salza valley (the trail 7 continues north). The ascent to Colle della Salza is long and physically demanding but the sceneries are breathtaking. The final climb to the Col (last 100 m of ascent) is slippery in wet weather. We had a mix of snow and icy mud. The arrival to the Col is rewarding. You will have magnificent views from both sides. From the col, we started our descent to Orestes Hütte reached in about 45 min. It usually takes less time (30 to 35 min) but we stopped to take photos of a group of Ibexes and many marmottes. Meeting the Ibex was the reward after the long climb! By the time we arrived to Orestes Hütte, the weather changed from cloudy to snowy. This beautiful private hut is dedicated to the memory of a renowned alpinist, Oreste Squinobal (1942-2004). It offers the comfort of a good hotel with excellent vegeterian food at the altitude of 2600 m. The price for a half board stay was 95 euros per person in a double room with private bathroom or 69 euros per person with shared facilities. Some luxury doesn't harm when you are sweating the whole day!