As I said, I’ll be back. And it was sooner than I expected. Shortly when we arrived back home we started arranging our stuff and checking the calendar when it would be the best time to go. At the end the 25th of August was the day when we were back on the road, via Chamonix.
We drove all night and finally arrived in Chamonix at 3.00 in the morning . Tired as we were, we fell asleep immediately. I woke up 4 hours later, at 7am. It was a nice and quite chilly morning. I had breakfast on the nearby bench, and the other two members,Krištof and Aleš, quickly did the same.
Our “base camp” was right next to the hut Tette Rouse at 3167 meters above sea level. But first we needed to get there. Form Les Houches with the cable car to the train station with which we gained another 500 vertical meters. At the end we were 2372 meters high. And everything from here up was by foot. So another 800 vertical meters. I don’t know the exact time but we were quite fast.
Once we were there we first had to set up a tent. We borrowed all the equipment in the hut, Ferrino has a highlab up here and they are testing the gear. We had some problems with the caretaker because his english skills were really bad. When we found the right spot the tent was standing in less then 10 minutes.
Me and Krištof decided to go on a short hike up to the Gouter refuge for the acclimatization. And we were quite fast, for 700 vertical meters we needed 1 hour and 20 minutes. I surprised myself. Aleš has decided for a rest because he was tired. When we came back it was already time for dinner. I don’t remember anymore what it was for dinner but it was really good and I was starving. 😀 Dinner was finished and we were inside our sleeping bags quite fast, the night was okay although it was too hot. The sleeping bags were made for colder conditions.
So the plan for the second day was to go above the 4000 meters. After the breakfast, we had some trek’n’eat bags, really good food considering that it is from the bag, we prepared all the equipment we needed and stared walking/climbing. Like day before we first had to overcome 700 vertical meters on rock to the Gouter refuge and from there we continiued on snow. Our plan was to go on Dôme du Goûter, 4304 meters high. At first the terrain was flat and after aprox. 500 meters the terrain started to become steeper. At this height (4000m) my body was operating normaly while Aleš was already “wasted”. Krištof said he was okay and he also looked okay. When we were walking we didn’t use the rope, the path was visible and there was no crevasses on sight.. When I think back I still don’t know what would be the best with or witout rope… So after 30 minutes of putting one leg in front of another I reached the top, Krištof and Aleš were not far behind. From the top we had a beautiful view on the last 500 vertical meters, top of Mont Blanc. We made some photos and then started the descent.
On the snow we were really fast because we could run and skate. While on the rock we had a normal speed. Me and Krištof were in the front and Aleš somewhere behind. We have been waiting him all the time (he was really tired and he was nagging all the time). The most interesting stuff on the descent was falling rocks in the Grand couloir. Some of them were in the size of a car and it’s interesting to watch how it reach the bottom in just a few seconds. That was also the reason we needed so much time to reach the hut.
I think it is not necessary to mention that the dinner was excellent. Especially because we didn’t eat much throughout the day
After the dinner we made a detailed plan for the next day. Of Course the main goal was to reach the top. Started climbing at 2am so we would be at the top around 8am. But when we were getting ready for sleeping the storm was aproaching. So during the night we had all kind of stuff falling down from the sky, rain, hail, icy rain… and also wind. So when it was time to get up we checked the situation and decided to cancel the ascent. The grand couloir and the rocks above it were just too icy and dangerous. Shit happens nature is stronger. 🙂
After an interesting night we packed our stuff in the morning and started the long descent. And there is no need for detailed description… One leg in front of the other and it took us ages to got down to the valley. Next time I’m going with skis. 🙂