It was time for our main target during the trip, climbing to the Mt Blanc! Driving from Verbier to Chamonix in the morning. Previous day was a reast day and that day was really needed. Sinustis I got once I arrived to the Alps was getting better, antibiotics and other medicine were working well. The doc that gave me the medicines knew what he was doing, most likely I was not the first patient with that kind of situation and who wanted to go to the summit…
Approach to the Mt Blanc is extreamly easy, just drive the car next to the Saint-Gervais lift that takes you to the Tramway du Mont-Blanc upto 1900 meters. After that started actual walking to the first stop, Tete Rousse in 3167 meters.
Weather in Chamonix valley had been last weeks exreamly warm, week before our climb it was near 40C degrees. Now week later it was still warm, but forecast predicted heavy rain and snow on the mountain. Due to bad weather forecast, there were not that many groups trying to summit. In Tete Rousse, we met only one climber with his guide.
Weather got nasty a bit higher, but still okay to proceed. After three hours of climb we reached our hut. Ascended approximately 1400 meters. Following morning would be our summit day.
Early in the morning, once it was still dark, was time to start summiting, 1700 meters ahead of us. First pass the Grand Couloir, then 700 meters rough climb upto the Gouter hut 3815 meters. Old hut was still open and we got our break there. We also left some of our stuff there to wait us once we come back from the summit. After the break we hit the road again and started our last 1000 meters climb.
Weather got worse and worse, strong wind and almost half of meter new snow already and we were approaching the crevasse area.
That was the moment when our main guide said that we cannot proceed any further this time. Kind of expected since we could see nothing and it would have been just too dangerous to go over crevasse area, where crevasses are covered with the new snow. Good decision and it was time to take pics and turn back in 3850 meters.
Since the weather was getting so bad, we decided to pick our stuff from the Gouter hut and decent back to the Tete Rousse during the same day. Decending was hard, a lot of snow on the top of rocks, moving with the crampoons which were sometimes quite slippery.
Next morning we continued our decending back to the valley. New snow that rained during the night gave us challenges to find the path back. We even didn’t expect tramway to work and therefore walked down to the lift.
Even the summiting was cancelled none of us felt too much disapointed. Mountain will not go anywhere, she will wait us to come back one day.
Summit attempt date: 30.8.2012
Mont Blanc, 4 810 meters
Operator and guide: Elämysmatkat, Pette Halme
See also the picture collection of Mt Vinson and Mt Blanc 2012