Saturday, August 18, 2012
Father & Son Climb Mt Blanc 4810 m
Jason Donavan and his son Lloyd joined me for a week of perfect weather and perfect conditions. We started our week with a visit to the Mer de Glace so that we could have some detailed preparation using ice axe and crampons . We talked a lot about what would happen in the week ahead as well as working on short roping techniques.
The next day we headed off up Les Grands Montets and climbed the Aiguille de Grands Montets before scrambling over the railings on to the viewing platform. In the afternoon we made our way over to the deliightful Argentiere Hut. We sat on the terrace drinking beer and soaking up the impressive situation. It was a very relaxed evening the hut was only half full despite it being Saturday night and the busiest week of the summer season.
We were away by 5.15am the next morning and climbed up to the Col du Tour Noir where we enjoyed stunning views east into Switzerland. From the col we returned back to the Hut and then headed down the Argentiere glacier and were down for 2.00 pm. Our acclimatisation completed plus , plenty of time for a good rest before the challenge of the next day which was going to be the climb to the Gouter Hut.
The climb was even longer than expected because unbeknown to me the 8.40 am train had been cancelled. So an extra 2 hours on what is already a long day. We arrived at the Gouter Hut at 3.00pm. Even so the conditions in the Gouter Couiloir were very good. There were no falling rocks and virtually a foot path across.
Breakfast was at 1.30am and we were away by 2.15am. We had perfect conditions and we summited at 7.15 am. After some photos it was straight back down. We were extremely quick back at the Gouter Hut in under 2 hours. Then the long descent - over 2700 meters.