The double TOR of Tarcisio
When the morning light wakes us up at Gressoney, the first thought is for Benny.
Has she slept?
Did she have dreams?
How are her?
Fortunately, you just need to look at her face to know that she is fine.
Yesterday was yesterday.
Today is another day.
We greet her with a smile and the promise to meet again this evening at Champoluc.
Mien and I leave for the lower valley, and then we go back over Verrés.
We attack the ascent to the Grand Tournalin refuge and the amazing show of coming autumn overwhelms us.
The mountain tells millennial stories.
"Do you see it?" says my friend, pointing out to me a tree with the bark strained by the peaks "It's an Ent".
Tolkien's ancient plants, which have always been there.
This larch has been here for some centuries.
He survived the deforestation, the economic boom, the wars. Alongside him are peasants, shepherds, dreamers, heroes.
And this night, like the previous nights, the path has met curious, uncertain, desperate and dreamy steps.
He saw knights with headlamp and sticks earning every inch of dust and rocks.
I think of the magic of these eternal places.
At the TOR theater, at the life bases and at the huts as safe and impregnable fortresses where they find comfort from the battle against themselves.
When we get to the top, we can not resist the temptation to ring the cowbells.
They are used to greet the athletes arriving, but the path, for the moment, is clear.
Time for a coke and a tea, however, and the cowbells start to play madly.
I look out: the scope are coming with the last competitors.
The atmosphere is festive and relaxed.
While everyone is refreshing, Mien shows me a very cool and tanned gentleman, with the air of someone who really knows his business.
"Do you know who he is, did you recognize him?" question.
I blink my eyes twice: "Tarcisio!".
Tarcisio is a legend: cross-country master, mountain guide and man of the mountains at 360 degrees, a few years ago he completed a mythological enterprise. Worthy of knights. And dreamers.
Tarcisio did a double TOR.
To be clear: he left a week before the start of the race, he has done the round of the TOR twice.
In the "regulatory" times, or in three hundred hours.
One evening, in a shelter, I heard a friend of Tarcisio telling about him: "After the first lap I went to say hello and he looked as fresh as if he had gone on a trip to Alpenzu".
The TOR is also this: the place of the impossible. Unbelievable.
And now it is right here in front of my eyes, the incredible.
Tarcisio smiles and drinks a red wine.
He's not even sweaty, and he's been around for hours. We take a picture with him under the TOR banner.
A great honor, one of the thousand indelible memories of this unparalleled adventure.
I squeeze his powerful hand and see him convoying the last heroes to Col di Nana.
Mien and I go down to the valley.
The rain blesses us as we slide under the benevolent gaze of the Ents.
We breathe, we enjoy the silence.
The journey continues.
Tor des Géants® told by the writer Simone Sarasso | DAY 5
The double TOR of Tarcisio