James Vernon joined me for a week. The aim was to have a bit of a refresher, get some acclimatisation under our belts and at the end of the week make an attempt on Mt Blanc.
We kicked off with a day on the Mer de Glace. The weather was unpleasant cold and rainy, by the time we got off the Montenvers train it was snowing. It turned out to be a good use of the day because ice axes and crampons are impervious to the rain.
We spent two nights and climbed two 4000 meter peaks, Pyramid Vincent and Balenhorn. We were treated to excellent skiing and sparked a lot of jealousy from the mountaineers on foot.
In addition we were able to make a memorable descent below the Mantova hut and skied all the way to Paulo our Land Rover pick up
We were now very well acclimatised and in good shape for our attempt on Mt Blanc. It was at this stage that the plan unraveled. The weather had other ideas , we had to cancel the reservation in the Cosmiques Hut and go rock climbing instead.
Still an unusal week combing many of the facets of Mountaineering.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Reuben and I started the week with an ascent of the South East face of the Gallinhorn which over looks Kandersteg.
Afterwards we headed round to Grindlewald and caught the train to Kliene Scheidegg and checked into the Hotel Bellvue des Alps. In my view the best hotel in the Alps. It has been carefully preserved just as it was when it was first openend in the 1930's. The food and service was perfect.
On Friday we did something unconventional for mid summers day : We went ski touring. We drove to Les Diablerets took the firt lift up and climbed the peak of Les Diablerets. After which we skied some very good "Spring Snow" back to the lift system.