Sixty-six days of waiting, patience, fear and respect, while coping with a confusing threat.
Simone’s proposal finally gives us some hope.
We are in Cogne. It is late May, but snow conditions are still good in the area on the border between Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont.
We brave 800 metres of difference in altitude, helped by our ebikes.
The forced break has prevented us from keeping fit, and the energy saved in this first part will be needed later on.
We see the peak, Tête de la Nouva, a little known mountain just over 3,000 metres in altitude.
After a few hours I realise that I have covered another 800 metres of difference in altitude, the toughest ever, to the point that it seems to be double that. With this feeling, and stiff legs, we reach the hill and cycle along a magnificent aerial ridge.
Once we reach the summit an incredible scene opens us before us, from Mont Blanc to Grivola, from Tersiva to Monviso.
We change gear and start the much desired descent.
It’s time to draw our line, sliding lightly and respectfully on the spring snow.
The taste of this voluntary “isolation” in the mountains is decidedly different from the one we have just experienced: it tastes of freedom, and as the great alpinist Reinhold Messner said “…we do not climb a mountain to reach a peak but to return among men…every time we return it’s a boost of energy and renewed desire to live”.
Descending to the valley we enjoy the warmth of the setting sun right to the end, and, strengthened by the emotions we have just experienced, we return to a world that is trying with much effort to go back to normality.