The Col de la Seigne was used since Roman times as an efficient trade route over the Alps, even in preference to the lower Little St Bernard pass to the south over which a road now passes. It's now part of the popular Tour du Mt Blanc, which circles the mountain in about ten days - we are far from being the only people crossing the col on a day of mixed sun and cloud. Here's the view back down as we climb.
And, from a little lower down, looking up from a chapel in the last tiny abandoned hamlet. The col is up to the right.
The top - and Italy! Richard at the col.
Looking down on the Italian side.
And up to Mt Blanc.
A night in a refuge about 200m down from the col - full of walkers doing the Tour du Mt Blanc and a large group of Italians on mountain bikes. Here's the view up to a glacier above the refuge.
And then a day to get down to Courmayeur, my final destination, past more glaciers running off Mt Blanc or Monte Bianco as it is now called. This is the largest - the Miage glacier is the largest debris-covered glacier in the Italian Alps and it is hard to see where ice ends and moraine begins.
Looking down to Courmayeur at the head of the long Val d'Aosta that winds down to the Italian plains.
The steep descent produces a large mountain butterfly that I had been hoping to see - the gorgeous Apollo. (I've no idea what is the tiddler on the same thistle.)
My boots are breaking up and it's time to go home!
Many thanks to my companions for part of the way - Andy, Jay, Tina and Honi, Riccardo, Patrick and Judy, and Richard; to everyone who posted comments to the blog or who emailed encouragement; and to my hosts in many welcoming B&Bs and little hotels. It has been a wonderful journey..