This is probably a school book example how the introduction to the mountaineering should happen in practise.
Even we had an acclimatization climb ahead of us that did not diminish our enthusiasm a bit. Finally early in the morning, starting from the Verbier, we were moving on, to my first mountain ever to climb. Target of the climb was Vincent Pyramide, 4215 meters, in Italy side of Alps. This climb would prepare us to get ready for the Mt Blanc later same week.
To me first and foremost, feeling safe is a base to my mental balance when heading up there. I need to feel that someone, if not me, has all this in control or gives me the support I need. So many new things to face and to process, to learn and to digest. At the same time, test gear and clothes, get use to the fact that adjusting is the thing to do all the time, as well as making sure to take care of physical needs – hydration, nutrition and rest. Oh, and of course, I might get sick, tired or just irritated by something or somebody.
For me the most important thing was that our guide was so good, that I could trust him fully. Pette, I think he made just a perfect job with our team – teaching us “mountain walk” steps, the right technic but also steady and slow pace when going up, taking breaks frequent enough and teaching us how to safely move in glacier in ropes and with the crampons.
We started our climb from the Mantova Hut (3500m) at 6:45 am. I was so exited that did not sleep during the night, well, partially also because there was people leaving during the night and they kept some noise (lesson learned – make sure you will sleep, no matter what) that disturbed me. I was so tired in the morning and hoped not to get the migren.
Day was sunny, sun screen and water was definitely needed during that day. I knew that views would be just amazing up there, and they definitely were. And that feeling, when you step to the plateau of the summit for the first time – feelings like happiness, the fact that you made it, astonishing landscape that burned to you retina on that moment as a memory.
The climb itself did not last that long – decent was 700 meters and took from us 3 hours to go up and down. Dinner was waiting in the hut, you just needed to go to the table and enjoy. Perfect, I would not have had any energy for anything else 🙂
Summit date: 28.8.2012
Vincent Pyramide, 4215 meters
Operator and guide: Elämysmatkat, Pette Halme