Andrew Parker had harbored a dream to climb Mt Blanc since a failed attempt nearly 20 years ago. Recently the opportunity to have another go materialised
because he was able to take some holiday between jobs.
We met and had a couple of warm up days before heading up to the Cosmiques Hut in order to gain some acclimatisation. It was the following morning that the plan started to unravel because the wind had shut Aiguille du Midi and we could not get back to Chamonix and therefore we could not keep our booking for the evening in the Tete Rousse Hut.
More pressingly we were stuck. So I decided that we should try and escape across the Valley Blanche to Italy. This is what we did , but the conditions were difficult , poor visibility , soft snow and big crevasses a bad mix. Eventually we arrived in Courmayeur where we took the bus back through the Mt Blanc Tunnel.
We were now a day behind schedule which we had to make up. Of course we were not helped by the fact that the train on Mt Blanc is shut and so we had to start walking a couple of hours sooner than we would have chosen.
Six hours and 1790 meters of ascent interspersed with some rain showers we arrived at the Gouter Hut. Not the new shinny one but the old knackered one. [The new one isn't ready yet .]
2.00am Breakfast , 2.45 am get away and we were off. Conditions were good although above the Vallot Refuge it did get very windy. 7.45 am we arrived on the top.
2700 meters descent later the train was still broken.