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Colle Lauson
- Introduction


Colle Lauson (3296 m) is a pass over the mountain ridge between Gran Paradiso and La Grivola in the Gran Paradiso National Park. The approach from the east is from the Rifugio Vittorio Sella (2584 m) which can be reached from the Cogne Valley.

I had stayed at the Rifugio Vittorio Sella in June the same year with a group from the Tuesday Climbing Club to climb Punta Bianca (3793 m). Unfortunately our welcome at the rifugio had been less than warm.

There are two rates charged at most continental huts, the tourist rate, and a discounted rate to members of climbing associations.
At that time membership of the British Mountaineering Association was not generally recognized on the continent, and in order to get the discounts we had taken out membership of the Austrian Climbing Club. Unfortunately there is a long history of bitterness between the Austrians and Piedmontese, and because of our membership cards we were assumed to be Austrians.

Relations improved when we explained we were English, but there was still a problem because the whole rifugio had been booked in advance by a French rambling group. We had to make do with the old part of the rifugio, the long-unused mattresses being dragged up on to the roof to dry out in the sun.

Fortunately when Ann and I went there two months later in August it was out of season for climbing and the rifugio was virtually empty.