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Reaching Col Vessona at an altitude of 2,788 meters was not easy, despite our training. It is one of the most picturesque passes in the Valle d’Aosta, from which a freeride/enduro trail descends for 10 kilometers along another wild valley, Valpelline.
Humidity and mosquitoes followed us for a while and then relented while we pushed and “portaged” our bikes up the final section to the pass. After a brief stop at the Clermont Bivouac, still surrounded by the clouds that gave us respite while we reached the pass, we launched ourselves along technical switchbacks on clay, alternating with fluid sequences on dirt and sometimes-slippery roots – with an inevitable puncture, of course. Once we reached Oyace, we headed out again toward Champillon, a village at 2,000 meters’ elevation, located in a strategic area for accessing Rifugio Adolfo Letey at 2,430 meters, where we were welcomed by Silvie, Marcello and Mattia.