Pictures of the days Trail running up Mont L’Etoile

I was lucky to have seized the opportunity yesterday to get up high as today the snow is down to under 2000m again and its super rainy….

By the way the shoes of choice today were my North Face Ultra Guides, very comfortable and great grip althou a couplle of times I felt as tho I would have preferred a tiny bit more feeling of my foot locked into place that I get with the Adizero shoes. (V12 have these in stock as well as the TNF  Hayasa, and the Adidas Adizero XT4)

The Ultra guides tho are a great long day out trail shoe and are wearing well…

Here is a selection of pics from the day out – exciting and awe inspiring and just great to move so easily in the mountains..

This is where I have run up - the glacial moraine on the left of the valley, an amazing backdrop. now at 3100metres, light winds

Above the Aiguilles Rouge Hut Arolla valley nestles far below

Beautiful views across to some big mountains - Dent Blanche, Matterhorn, Aiguille de la Tsa This is from the Col De Darbonneire, panoramic, to the left iss the ridge towards my destination

La Gouille at 1834 metres is a fine start followed by steep steep climbing upto 2700metres, where the angle backs off a little as you head up glacial moraine towards 3143 metres and Col de Darbonniere, where you would turn left and put on crampons to go across towards La Vuasson.

The ridge ahead was snowed on one side and clear the other and was alternately rounded and rough requiring some careful footing due to snowy patches and the everpresent glacier de la Vuasson to the left and scree cliffs down to the right

Glacier De La Vuasson to the left, a nice open ridge leads with a couple of sneaky sections to a steep finish

The peak in the distance is Mont L'Etoile, a steep shale peak, very pointy, and once on the summit ridge there is a very exposed traverse to get to the highest point. Care needed with rotten rock, snow and vertigo.. I am not used to this stuff after my 5km stretch of Ugandan dirt road for the last few months..

A lofty spot - 3370m Mont L'Etoile

Aiguilles Rouge D'Arolla to the right above the approach ridge

I made it to the top 2hrs 15 minutes after leaving the valley bottom and was well pleased, as I took it pretty carefully on the last 300m climb due to steepness.

A good view back to where I am returning. The ridge is pretty shaley and broken and amazing views down either side onto glaciers or scree

Steep Shely descent made for a great plummet, fast and loose underfoot just like scree in the lakes but better. A 150m quick before back to traversing

Heading bacck down via the Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges for a fine piece of chocolate cake then contouring round to descend to Arolla, the track back is great singletrack for thousands of feet descent. Once down, its into the woods, where a wrong turn took me back up another 300metres to Lac Bleu . Great tracks but a little unnecessary..

Having just run and extra 300m ascent, I took the opportunity of icing legs in the lake, to the stares of myriad children and people, then headed to a small Buvetter for a fine Tarte aux Myrtilles ( no one had any soup today):-

Picked on the hill side and eaten in a great setting with a fine coffee before the 10 minute descent to the car from Lac Bleu

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