The Couvercle Outing
By now we were feeling fitter and even those of us who were on their first visit to the Alps felt confident enough to go our own way in pairs. Rich and I set off to the Refuge du Couvercle, so called because of an enormous flat boulder which provides shelter for the original hut.
We climbed the Moine, traversing it by going up the South-West Ridge and abseiling down the dark and dank North Ridge. An amusing touch was the sight (and sound) of a rather over weight client being virtually pulled hand over hand up the climb by a tough looking young guide. His coughing and wheezing accompanied us all morning. On the summit, the first thing he did was light up a cigarette - I bet he felt pleased with himself, all the same, that evening in the refuge.
The weather was splendid and the views equally so, as the photos show. It was hardly necessary to be an ace, just pointing the lens randomly you were more or less sure of a great shot.
The next day we climbed the Eveque, one of the minor peaks on the ridge leading from the Moine to the Aiguille Verte, and were quite pleased with the outing, apart from a highly regrettable incident, which shame has engraved in my memory, when, while draining the spag, I managed to tip the whole lot, all we had left, down the drain itself. Rich said nothing, but his look did. Watching the gay groups of French bon vivants tucking into their huge dinners in the refuge's restaurant was even harder than usual that night.