Friday, 7 September 2018

Mont Blanc summit 6 September 2018

Ewen and Ross on the descent.
 Impressive view of Aid du Midi  this morning
Ewen and Ross on Mont Blanc summit
I still have to learn how to do a good selfie!
 Mountain guiding with Alpine Guides this week and over the past three days with Ross, Dylan and Ewen and fellow BMG/IFMG guide Stuart McAleese we summited Mont Blanc yesterday in quite poor weather and interesting conditions. We departed from the Refuge de Tete Rousse at 2.45 am and made our way up to the Refuge de l'Aig du Gouter  making good progress and it was dry with very little stone fall on the Grand couloir. From there we continued on to the summit but the weather (just as they said in the weather forecast) began to deteriorate. In thery a big thunder storm was going  due by mid afternoon. Between the Col du Dome and Refuge Bivouac Vallot we met several guides who had turned back with their clients as they had left for the summit from the Refuge Gouter and  informed us that they found conditions high on Mont Blanc very cold and windy. We could  also tell this by their ice incrusted clothing and equipment. Stuart who was guiding Dylan and myself - guiding Ross and Ewen decided to keep going  upward until the Vallot bivouac shelter and make  decision as to what to do then. Fortunately for us as we progressed towards that bivouac hut the sun broke out briefly shining through the think mist. We realised that as the sun was rising the temperatures would rise and perhaps we would be lucky with our summit attempt so kept progressing upwards but with the thought that of it did stay very cold we would turn back and descend immediately. We were so lucky as while the mist did obscure the sun, the winds were not so strong and we all reached the summit. Once there  snow began to fall so we made a careful descent having to navigate at times to find the best trail. We spent the night at the Refuge del' Aig du Gouter where we had a fantastic refuge breakfast and then descended back to Chamonix today.
Ross, Ewen and Dylan

Refuge de Tete Rousse

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