We were among the last leaving Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II.
The day before, I had already scouted the first part of the route, so we wouldn't have to search for it with our head lights. As we started, we saw the lights of several other parties ahead of us, higher up in the talus or beyond. We ignored them and choose our own way across the talus near the refuge, staying low, where the going was easier.
Once past the boulders, the terrain got easy again. Not long after that we saw several groups of headlights moving towards the normal route as well as parties going the alternative way, which is what we had been advised to do in the refuge.
We came to a short scramble on the alternative way, with cairns all over, including a rather conspicuous one in the wrong place. That is, when we got to the cairn, the easy path ended, so I went straight up the rocks. Easy enough at first, but a bit higher I thought that this couldn't be right, so I climbed down a little and traversed to easier ground before going up again.
As Mark noted, we climbed as far as the statue and called it a day at that point. The ridge beyond, which would lead to the marginally higher true summit, had fresh snow on it, which made it a bit tricky, and neither of us wanted to go there. Now, I'm not in the business of collecting 4000-ers, but should I decide someday that I want to bag Gran Paradiso after all, I'll have a go at one of the northern or north-eastern routes.
Despite not reaching the true summit, it was a nicely varied route with great views all day long, making it a quite enjoyable climb.
2nd summit of the new international rgg-mh mountain alliance. Climbed from Vittorio Emanuele Hut fairly soon after fresh snow which made everything that little bit more beautiful - albeit summit rocks a little bit harder and we, like all others went no further than the Madonna summit - which I maintain is good enough for government work, rgg not so sure and might have to go climb it again! (are all his fellow countrymen so particular?).
Normal Route from Vittorio Emanuele Hut.
Starting at 6.00 am, quite sunny day, in upper parts little bit windy, chilly. Summit with Madona was completly occupied by crazy and nervous crowds:-) Moving to Chamonix now to MB..
Nice snow plod with some great views from the summit ridge. Weather closed in on the descent turning all other parties around. It was an unexpected pleasure to have the summit to ourselves.
Fun Climb, lots of people up there...
Did the Normal route, nice and easy climb. Was a bit cold that day but we where the 3rd group on the summit so we did not have to wait. Poor 50 buggers behind us, brrrrr....
My friend and I wanted to climb Mont Blanc (3 Monts route) but due to bad weather we did the Gran Paradiso instead on advice of our guide. We loved it.. and given our relative inexperience it was really better to try the Gran Paradiso normal route first. The last bit was quite scary to me, not having any experience with crampooning on rocks over a cliff. But as our guide said 'it is good for you to learn this skill if you want to continue mounteneering' so I (wo)manned up and did it :D. What a feeling to reach the Maria statue on the peak of Gran Paradiso! Our guide advised me to do a bit more technical training and then do a non-standard route to the top of Mont Blanc. Sounds good to me! :)
Spent the night in the refuge. Used skis with crampons.
Nice hike up the glacier, beautiful and unique view on the Alps like I haven't seen before (all the way from Ecrins to Monte Rosa and Wallis... The throng of guides and clients near the Madonna statue was interesting to witness... Chabod hut excellent!!!
Climbed the North Face in perfect conditions with WouterB
Climbed the North Face with fellow SP'er climbxclimb. Made it in quite a good time, but it must be said that the route was in picture perfect condition. Way too crowded on the top.
Watched the soccer World Cup finals in the hut the evening before, so was pretty tired from going to sleep late. Nice tour though. But a very crowded ridge leading to the (madonna) summit. Waited for about an hour there before being able to safely pass.
Early ascent, before the recommended season. Start at 5am, beautiful weather, very hot at the end of the day. Met only two groups of British climbers with the guides. Glacier very wet at the end...
4-00 am start Nice Grad. Approach to the Mountain. Perfect conditions, Nice scrambling on the blocky ridge busy on first (main) Summit. short ab. then off to slightly higher and quieter summit with smaller maddonna! Fantastic Views. Nothing Harder than PD.
Waked up at 03:00,very cold day,above 3800m we entered into a storm and on around 4000m just below the summit turned back due to high winds
WAKED UP AT 3.00 A.M., LEFT THE CHABOD HUT AT 4.00. ON TOP AT 7,30 A.M.. WONDERFUL WEATHER AND CONDITIONS.
oh yea 1st 4k summit the poisen is surging in the vaines and great weather