Summary: due to rain (and later snow), we did not complete the two remaining stages of the hike, from Alagna to Macugnaga via the Colle de Turlo (+1500m, -1400m), and from Macugnaga to Saas Fee (+1500m, -1000m). Both of these legs are quite long (guide books suggest 8-9 hours).
Monday September 14
After a relaxed breakfast, we returned to the tourist office to check the weather. The forecast was not good – rain most of the day, heavy at times. With this in mind, we decided to use alternate means of transportation to get to the beginning of the next stage of the TMR, and to hope for better weather the next day. This required a fair amount of work, for while the distance by trail between Alagna and Macugnaga was a (long) day’s hike, the distance by car/bus was much further.
Our itinerary therefore became: Alagna to Varallo by local bus. Varallo to Domodossola by train, which required changing trains in Arona and Romagnano. And Domodossola to Macugnaga by bus. All told, we spent neayl 6 hours on buses and trains, and nearly as long in towns waiting for trains. We did however get to see a good deal in the process, and to see the rain more or less follow us the entire day. For reasons unknown to me, Italian trains and buses are still quite affordable. The entire day’s travel cost less than the 10 minute lift ride from Trockner Steg to Kleine Matterhorn (above Zermatt). We spent the night in a pleasant old hotel in Macugnaga.
Tuesday September 15
We awoke to more rain, and the innkeeper informed us that there had been significant snow overnight at the higher elevations. So we opted to end our hike of the TMR, perhaps to be continued/completed in the future. Through a combination of bus and trains, we spent the day traveling, ending up in Como, via a circuitous route that had stops in Domodossola, Locarno, Bellinzona and Lugano.