main page > 2005 > 2005 05 28 Ski Mt Blanc

2005 05 28 Ski Mt Blanc

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The facts: Yannick proposes to ski up Mt Blanc. Super weather window for Friday and Saturday, sunny and little wind. Blandine is up for too. We find out that the telepherique open on Saturday. Good, this forces the ascent to be from the ground up. Leave for Chamonix thursday evening, sleep at parking lot (elev. 1274m). Leave at 4am to cross the glacier early. Hike up 1200m (2h30) with skis on our backs to the old telepherique station (2414m). Then don on the skis and ski up to the refuge (3051m, ~3h?)... the glacier is in good shape... there are a couple of delicate spots (see 09h03m)...

The refuge is huge and will be packed (60 people) before the end of the night. Dinner is served at 6pm and breakfast at 1am!!! for a 2am departure.

We wrestle on the choice of route: classique vs north arete, with the nort arete being a bit safer but it has not been travelled in 5 days...

We depart at 2am, quick traverse the seracs which we don't see at night. I reach the Vallot Refuge (4362m) at 6h50m (~5h)...my friends having reached it well before me...The last 440m will take a LONG time as I can breath in this shit...fortunately use one of the many himalayan techniques...12 steps, pause 12 breaths (sometimes I cheated and took 14 breaths!!!)... finally reach the summit at 10am!!! marvelous.

The descent is equally cool, as we can see what we traversed at night. We walk down the arete and then ski to the refuge, get our stuff, and ski down to the old telepherique station, to pick up our sneakers and arriving at the car at 5pm for a nice 15 hour day with 1700m elevation gain and -3200m elevation loss!!!.

Photos: H = Hector, Y=Yannick, soon B=Blandine.

Trip report skitour

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