Ten minutes into my hike, it started raining and the clouds were dark and low. I went and did something else.
Two days later, 8 August, I was back to hike the 1,700 m ascent in clear weather.
The climb to Rifugio Tazzetti was straight forward; I had lunch.
From there it was a climb up a crest with views to Rocciamelone.
Above the crest it started to get hard. There was climbing, and I was having trouble finding the path.
After a while I stopped counting the grave stones and concentrated on climbing.
Two younger men caught up with me and we started hiking together. It became easier, being with other hikers.
Next we came to the glacier. It is wider than I had been told. My friends had crampons; I did not.
There is no marked path, but we found our way. Getting off it was tricky.
The final ascent is up an exposed crest, buffetted by strong winds.
It was an exciting hike, but there were moments I was scared.
It was worth it.
One of the young men said to me: “Respect. That was a hard hike.”
I was touched.