Monday, July 07, 2014

The Lost Wedding Ring and the Helicopter.

Climbing and Mountaineering trips are all very fine , but the really memorable excursions are when it doesn't go exactly according to plan and there are glitches which produce stories "You can dine out on" Once again teaming up with Alan, Mark [Robo] Miguel Clarke & Art produced a memorable trip.

I was also joined by two other Mountain Guides James Thacker and Jonny Baird. This is what happened:

We met in Gressoney , stayed in the excellent Ellex Hotel , eat in the local Pizzeria and significantly had a little too much to drink.

On the Sunday it was raining and pretty miserable. We took the lift to Puntra Indren from where we walked up to the Mantova Hut , all in thick mist and driving snow.

On the Monday we awoke to hurricane strength winds which stopped us from going anywhere. We sat around drinking cappuccinos and then suddenly for no apparent reason the wind died and we were off.
We "stretched" our legs and ticked the 4000meter mark and some of the team even carried on to the Col de Lys 4200m from where the views to Zermatt and the Matterhorn are unique. We then turned heel and headed for the Gneftii hut where we were greeted by the magnificent Stephany , Guiliana and the rest of the Hut team. The food, the welcome was spectacular. Then showers were provided. free WiFi - what more could you want? You can run your whole life from here.

Tuesday morning the weather was better . We headed off and climbed Ludroigshohe 4341meters.

Wednesday was like Christmas
After some debate we decided to sit it out because the forecast for Thursday was stellar and in addition an extra days acclimatisation would be in valuable if we were going to realize our goal of spending the night in the Margherita Hut.

Thursday - the gamble had worked - Blue Skies, no wind , plus a well rested and acclimatised team powered up to the summit of the Signalkuppe punta Gnifetti 4554meters where there is a conveniently placed mountain hut- The Margherita. Once we were through the door we again met Stephany & Guiliana who were now the guardians of the Margherita Hut . They immediately set about making a magnificent lunch of home made hand grated rosti a platter of dried ham and a selection of local cheese.
During all this Alan discovered he had left his wedding ring down at the Gnifetti Hut. His mind was immediately put at rest with a quick call to say they hand found it.
Ten minutes later Stephany made a flamboyant entry, stood at the end of the dinning table and with a ta- daaa- like a magician produced the wedding ring! We were all suitably amazed and then she told us that the helicopter had just flown it up.

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