Saturday 25 July Refuge Wallon - Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube
A good day, today. Started around 8am after usual refuge breakfast (cereal & coffee with milk made up from milk powder, choice of stale bread or thin toastie things, with jam & butter. Sometimes a small bun or cake) on the long climb to the Col d'Arratilie (2528m). Then an interesting though occasionally delicate walk along the mountainside, to the next col, the Col des Mulets (2591m).
Then a 600m descent, steep at first and with patches of snow (best bypassed, unless they are flattish) to the refuge des Oulettes de Gaube. The special feature of this refuge is its magnificent situation, overlooking the north face of Vignemale and its attendant glacier. Unfortunately it has been cloudy for most of the day. The two cols were above the cloud, so I had good views then, and just as I arrived here the cloud lifted for a few minutes so giving us a nice view of the glacier before it disappeared again. Sadly I forgot to take a photo! But fortunately there was plenty of opportunity later.
I am now camped on the plain in front of the refuge, and booked in for dinner. Tomorrow is a long day but will end at Gavarnie, and civilization after a long chain of showerless refuges and no mobile signal!