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Stage 2

from Rifugio Bertone (1991 m, I) to Rifugio Bonatti (2020 m, I)

Uphill difference of level / in height: 790 m
Downhill difference of level / in height: 760 m
Refuges on the way: none

Average duration of the stage: 3 h 30 min

The weather is quite bad on the second day, too. We set off early in the morning, after a humble breakfast: we walk only for five minutes and have to stop to put on our waterproof jackets and the rucksack-cover, which we have to wear until we reach the Rifugio Bonatti, because of the wind and the freezing rain.

This is a typical "M" stage, which means ascent-descent-ascent-descent. The first part of the path is a quite steep ascent that leads us to a more relaxing way on the side of the mountain; then there is another deep ascent to the peak of the Testa della Tronche (2583 m). The first descent, actually very short, leads us to the Alpe Secheron (2260 m), owhere the second and last ascent to the Pas d'Entre deux Sauts (2524 m). The most difficult and wearying part of the stage is over: we cover a gentle descent and reach the Rifugio Bonatti . We have been walking for more or less four hours, going quite fast because of the bad weather, and reducing the breaks to what was strictly necessary.

It is well worth spending some words for the Rifugio Bonatti, no doubt the best one of our journey. The structure is recent (it has been inaugurated in 1996); it has been named after the famous alpinist Walter Bonatti, whose photographs, taken on mountains all over the world, are hanging all over the refuge. On the day we spent at the refuge there was almost nobody there (due to the bad weather conditions) and we got an entire 14-bed room. Each bed is has a warm duvet and a large cupboard for the luggage in front of it, which we haven't found in any of the other refuges but held as essential, or at least very useful. The price, which is on the average compared with the other refuges of the zone, includes also a hot shower, the possibility of hanging one's wet clothes and the best dinner of our entire journey. Besides, the staff has been always very kind.

A little snow-field to cross before reaching the Rifugio Bonatti A fight in the beautiful dormitori of the Rifugio Bonatti