Exited to leave to this trip, mind is full of good memories from the previous trip, Verbier-Chamonix is extreamly easy going area and access to the mountains does not require long approaches. On the other hand seems that rematch includes no more worries, but much more deeper hopes related to success of this trip.
We will have a small group of climbers this time and surprise is more than positive when I finally have a chance to meet rest if the team members – I climb with the couple who have retired, another over 70 years another soon! Amazing team I got! They are very experienced with mountaneering and travelled around the world to meet challenges.
Our base is in Verbier, just like last time. Acclimatisation climb will be done to the Aiguille du Tour instead of typical Vincent Pyramid. After couple of days acclimatisation at Verbier we head to the Aigulle du Tour. Weather stays just beautiful.
Access to the Cabane du Trient hut (3180m) is easy but quite long and since the body has not yet got used to high altitudes breathing is hard. Hut is very nice, excellent views to our target and there is not too many people at the moment.
As usual, next morning we wake up early to kick of our first common trek. We walk in a rope since we are in glacier. Minor crevasses on our way, bigger one just before we hit the rocks. We leave our crampons, axes and poles and next focus on moving on rocks. Did not feel that airy when we were there but afterwards, when I saw these pics I realised that ok, this was the easiest path to go.
But everything went well, we summited Aiguille du Tour (3540m) in a sunny and warm weather. Good view also to the main target of the trip, Mt Blanc!
Next day back to the Verbier – some rest and packing, easy and long walks at 2500 meters. Preparing ourselves to the Mt Blanc summit attempt.
We arrive to the Chamonix in a nice weather, meet our another guide and jump to the lift to 2000 meters and from there we take the Tramway du Mont Blanc up to Nid Aigle end station.
We start our climbing to the Tete Rousse hut, I just did not remember that the climb took so long. We arrive to the hut (3170m) around 15pm.
Next morning we start before the sun rises and it’s dark and a bit cold. We pass the Grand Couloir safely without rocks falling down. Right after this we meet another Finnish team, who have had quite rough last days. Some of them summited previous day. They came up from the Italian side where the weather has been most horrible and conditions to climb extreamly unstable. I’m happy and thankful that our guide chose this route for us.
We climb up 1+1 and 1+2 ropes, me in the latter one, the challenging 700m. We have a breakfast pit stop at Gouter hut, leave some of our gears and clothes there and then continue ascending. I change to the 1+1 rope with Pette. Long day ahead, but could not be more happy, the weather is just amazing, sun is shining from the blue sky! Four years ago, we turned back at Gouter hut due to heavy snow storm.
Climb is quite easy, but surely it does not come for free. By easy I mean that the there is only one place where we need to cross the crevasse and climb with our axe. Views are great and there is no rush! We hit to the last meter highway alone, wow this cannot be normal! I thought that there is a rush on this path, people going up and down all the time.
We summit all in good condition! So happy, so reliefed! Total ascent was 1748m! In the summit we were only ones.
Descending is hard, it took from us to the summit about 9 hours and a bit less than 3 down to the Gouter hut. I was so happy to get there, get some rest, wash wash and finally also something to eat.
Next morning we hurry down to catch the first train. We are tired but happy!
The last day I spent in French side of Geneva, little village called Ferney-Voltaire. I took it easy, some walk in the park and in the downtown, spending time in cafeteria, watching videos and sleeping long hours. I love my hobby!
Summit attempt date: 3.9.2016
Mont Blanc, 4 810 meters
Operator and guide: Elämysmatkat, Pette Halme
Enjoy also the video from the top of Mont Blanc and the full picture collection of Mt Blanc 2016
By Teija Sirko