In theory the descent from Tete Noir to Col de la Forclaz (1746m - 1533m) should have taken about 20 minutes, followed by a 1.5 hour walk back into Les Houches village down wide easy to follow tracks. However I lost the track and then found that I had also lost the compass out of the middle of the holder, hung around my neck. I knew I only had to head sw and I would pickup any number of trails, but in dense trees and rapidly failing light I descended north. Eventually after an hour or so I found a rough logging trail, which I followed until a fallen tree blocked the path, I thought the track continued and so climbed over the tree, but it didnt and then could not find the track again. By this time it was midnight and I was seriously considering spending the night on the hill, I had water and shelter and it was actually quite pleasant. However my wife had been unable to contact me and called mountain rescue, they called me on my mobile and wanted me to keep walking down. I did this for another 30 minutes or so and picked up another logging trail. I then followed the trail for several hours and eventually came out of the forest at Servoz (approx 800m asl) at round 3am. The relief didnt last long when I realised I had a climb up to Les Houches 1100m several km away.
In the process I lost a watch, a compass, lots of skin and part of my log book, but I gained quite a bit of experience as well.
I would appreciate it if you could email me any contact details for the F/AB-427 activation and also any 10m contacts on F/AB-362.
Some more next week when my wife has lifted the sota ban.