As we climbed higher and higher, the rain turned to snow. Visibility
was limited, but it was not too difficult to follow the markings (white
over red here). A fairly steep climb over slate took us to the col du
Bonhomme de la Croix. After about 10 more minutes walking, the refuge
appeared out of the fog. We took the opportunity to warm up, dry our
clothes by the stove and have some hot tea with our lunch (it's ok to
eat one's own food at the refuges as long as one buys a drink). Our
short stop turned into almost 2 hours before we started on our descent
to les Chapieux. The guardian at Nant Borrant had called ahead for our
reservations, so we did not need to hurry. By 5 0'clock, we could see
the refuge below and 30 minutes later we were taking hot showers.
At dinner we shared a table with Nordine and Delyta, a french couple
we had met along the way. With the help of our phrasebook, we learned
that they were going half-way and planned to stop at Bertone in Italy.