Our tripNadie and me drove from Madrid to Chamonix-Mont Blanc during two days doing a stop for sleeping at Girona, Spain. In Chamonix we lodged in a duplex that I had hired via Internet.
The 1st day we visited the town, its mountain stores mainly. And we also bought food and other things. Because of the high prices in Chamonix we drove back to Sallanches for buying in a known hypermarket. We also tried to fill up out of Chamonix so we used to drive down the valley to Les Houches for that. We also visited La Maison de Montagne for reading the weather forecast. In the afternoon we walked to The Montenvers Train Station at Chamonix for buying both 4 non-consecutive days multi passes. And after that we drove to Annecy and visited its beautiful old part.
On Sunday we were going to use our 1st pass by traveling in an old train to Montenvers. We carried all our gear in order to reach Refuge de Leschaux or at leas the point where Mer de Glace divides into Glacier du Tacul and Glacier de Leschaux. But when being in the middle of the ladders known as Vire des Guides Nadie stopped and said that she wasn't going to go ahead. We're going to practice the progress on glacier but we couldn't because of that. I've been a few times on Mer de Glace so it didn't matter at all. We went back to Le Montenvers train station and descended to see the glacier inside, as all tourists do. We had lunch while waiting the return train and went back in Chamonix early in the afternoon. We ended that day buying two pairs of boots more little that those plastics we had used for Mer de Glace. Anyway, I also think that Nadie was frighten on those ladders though she says that she was in a very bad form because of being permanently studying the last months before our journey.
On July 27th we got up early in the morning and drove to La Rosière, where we took the cableway to Lognan (1973 m - 10:00 AM). We walked to the Point 2338 - 2h 10 min, where went into Glacier D'Argentiere heading to Moraine des Rognons. We were surprised at the hoarse sound of a landslide to the right but it wouldn't stop us. We didn't follow through the wide cracks because we hadn't carried glacier gear. We were only wearing for the first time two pairs of Garmon Vetta Plus that we'd bought the day before. After enjoying the nice view of Point de Vue (2166 m - 3h 50 min) we walked back to Lognan (4h 40 min). We had lunch and took the cableway to Aiguille des Grands Montets (3295 m) where we wondered at the incredible Aiguille Verte (4122 m), Petite Aiguille Verte (3512 m) and les Drus. That day finished in that way and driving back again to Sallanches.
On Wednesday we also got up early in the morning in order to pass through Mont Blanc Tunnel. We arrived to La Palud, Italy, where we took the cableway to Pointe Helbronner (3462 m - 12:40 PM). We put all our glacier gear and ascended le Petit Flambeau (3440 m). We were taking lunch on the summit (2:05 PM). While descending ot the west flank I had to stop a Nadie's fall on the very soft snow. She put her ice axe in it but I got scared when I saw her glisading towards Glacier du Geant wide cracks. Anyway we reached Pointe Helbronner quite happy because of Nadie's first ascent in Mont Blanc Massif. We were visiting the expo before taking one of the last cableways to La Palud. The weather was getting worse so we ended that day driving through the incredible Val Ferret and Val Veni before doing the shopping at Courmayeur. Then we went back to Chamonix.
On July 29th, the sky was cloudy so we decided to walk starting from the valley. I drove with Nadie down to Grange Neuve and took the chair lift to a place (1440 m) below Chalet du Glacier des Bossons. While we started the ascent in the Montagne de la Côte's wood it started to rain. Hopefully we wore good hard shells and took an umbrella with us. It was only a shower so we could continue up to Chalet des Pyramides (1895 m). The sun brighted a little between the clouds while we had lunch on the rock above the chalet. We continued leaving the Point 2014 to the left. Suddenly we were surrounded by fog and rain, we had passed the old Pylone and reached a height (2175 m) previous to Bec de Corbeau (2221 m). It was time to descend, we were so wet and it still was rainy. So we descended passing Chalet des Pyramides to the left and almost without resting reached Chalet du Glacier des Bossons. There it was not rainy and we could went to the point where you can see Glacier des Bossons' end before taking the chairlift back to Grange Neuve. We drove back to Chamonix and looked for a place to eat something for dinner. But it was late an the few restaurants that are not very expensive there had closed. So we went back to our hired flat and had dinner. We were tired and went to bed soon.
30 July was our last entire day in Chamonix. The weather forecast hadn't been bad so we'd decided to wake early in the morning and take the first cabin to Aiguille du Midi (3842 m) in order to attempt Mont Blanc de Tacul (4248 m) by the normal route crossing Vallée Blanche. We had to take the 2nd lift because of reservations ahead of us. I felt a bit sick on its quick ascent though they stopped us half an hour at Plan de l'Aiguille (2310 m). That should be the cause of my forgotten pole and ice axe up on the bridge wich crosses from one side to other in Aiguille du Midi. We were looking for them another half an hour til Nadie asked one of the workers. Somebody had taken my gear when I was taken pics and had given it to a station worker. Nadie had already have a look at the Aiguille du Midi NE cornice and decided no to try to traverse it. So we went there another hour or so, took many pics and descended to Plan de l'Aiguille. There we were having our sandwiches in the sunshine. Then we descended to Chamonix in another cabin.
Mont Blanc Massif in July 2010.
It will continue in Valais in August 2010.
LinksChamonix-Mont Blanc. Includes lodge, lifts' information, webcams...
Chamonet.com - Includes webcams.