Stage 5 Gressoney to Valtournenche 39km 2602m D+ (11 hours 4 minutes)
|I found stage 5 to be the most beautiful with two nice Cols over 2500 meter|
Gressoney turned out to be a great life base with a good sleeping room where I went to directly upon arrival. I had decided to let myself sleep for two hours and I almost immediately fell asleep. For some reason my alarm did not work, but I anyway woke up after almost exactly two hours. When I woke up I decided to spend some extra time and take a hot shower and even shave myself and it was really uplifting to do this. I noticed that the chaffing between my thighs had gotten quite severe and decided to abandon the 2XU compression shorts and instead switch to North Face Better Than Naked Shorts despite them not providing any quad support. My quads felt actually quite good and I had only had transient knee pain so I took the risk in order to try to worsen the sores between my legs. I also put on new tape on my feet – in particular my right foot did not look to well any longer and I had quite substantial blisters under my little toe and under the whole midfoot. After taping it felt good, however, and I was able to run without pain on the foot.
|The beautiful village of Gressoney early in the morning|
|Grassy pastures on the way up to Col Pinter|
|You cannot be afraid of cows when running TDG|
|View from Col Pinter of the surrounding massivs|
I reached Rifugio Crest right before noon on Wednesday and made a very short stop before starting the descent to Saint-Jacques passing plenty of summergreen ski slopes. I reached Saint-Jacques on 1.25 pm on Wednesday afternoon and again went to the toilet and this time it was a real one and not just a whole in ground. The climb from Saint-Jacques to Rifugo Grand Tournalin also went through beautiful pastures. I passed several runners through this section, among them one runner who had fallen asleep under a tree. It was first when I reached the Rifugio I also noticed that I was quite tired.
After some more pasta I went on for the final steep section up to the Col and then the quite technical descent to Valtornenche. This was really high alpine terrain and I met several climbers on the way down from having done after some summit climbs earlier in the day. If I had passed several runners during the ascent I was now passed by several runners – I had still not learned how to quickly descend even though my legs felt really fine and that was quite frustrating. There were plenty of people waiting in Valtornenche when I arrived at 6.11 pm on Wednesday evening after 79 hours and 54 minutes.
|View from Col di Nana of the surrounding massivs|