Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Photo Blog - To Chamonix, Up Mont Blanc & Other Stuff

This ones a bit of a quick flick through the week, or 9 nights as my wife keeps reminding me, the four of us spent in Chamonix. Together we took 600 plus pictures. A lot of those were quite repetitive so I put this collection together as edited highlights.

Se we packed the car and with the amount of gear we brought just about allowed the passengers to get in.

It took us a little over 20 hours to get there but when we arrived we settled in.

The apartment was a top shout and a good base for the weeks adventures.

With Rab as the lead chef we eat well and of course we drank well too.

There was probably about 100 photos taken from the balcony as the view right on to the Alps around us was first class.

The next stage was to get ourselves up the first part of the mountain. The cable car took us to the Aiguille Du Midi which was the starting point of everyday on the mountain.

The cable car station at the top is a huge viewing platform and is mainly a tourist attraction. There are several different levels and viewing points on the structure.

The platform below is the highest point which you take the lift to get up to.

The whole place gets climbed on, if you can get a hand hold on it then it gets scaled.

And now for my glamorous assistant, Del, to show us where we're heading...

The rounded, featureless mound at the top of the picture is the summit of Mont Blanc.

Now for the staging area, along with the tourists there are these nuters who tie themselves together with ropes then head off the safety of the platform and into the white unknown. Oh, yeah, that's what we were there to do.


Once we were geared up we made our way out on to the narrow ridge leading to the Col Du Midi.


Below is a zoomed in picture of the one above. It shows a couple of guides having to physically extract a girl from the ridge as she had a bit of a panic attack due to the exposure on the west ridge.

We spent a couple of days touring around the Col getting ourselves acclimatised.

If you look carefully the climber below is in the picture above and no it wasn't one of us.

Del talking to a man about a dog...

The building below is the Cosmiques Refuge, this was our starting point for summit day.

Serac Watch
A collapsing serac, which deteriorated over the course of the days we spent up there, was the focus of several pictures. It's debris fell into a gulley and wasn't a risk to any of us.

Then to the summit. There was a flag, in fact there were two. Long story, we'll get to that another day.

Once we had cracked it, a couple of days early, it left us at a bit of a loose end. So our attentions turned to a bit of sight seeing. We took the tram cars up in to the Mer De Glace.

On the way down the stairs towards the glacier there are these placards which show the retreat over the years. It's actually really shocking how fast it has dropped.

I did wish this was a real bar!!

Looking around this area just shows the dramatic peaks that loom over this part of the world.

Around the town there are a few statues, this one pointing directly at the summit of Mont Blanc.

There wa a Jazz festival on whilst we were there so there was a couple of impromptu performances in and around the town.

This is what you call a climbing wall! Rab and I got a bit bored and went to do a bit of sports climbing.

That's basically a brief flicker book of our trip.There's been a couple of pre summit blogs and I'm working on the next one. 

After that it was back to the rain...

It's good to be home!