It was October 2004,I spent my time especially at school or in sports hall for table tennis.Last holiday was gone and I looked forward to the autumn’s holiday and Christmas.If anybody said to me that I will stand on the highest peak of Alps 9 months later,I laugh to him.BUT the person,who said to me that great message was my father.Immediately I started to search information about Mont Blanc.It became my hobby and I spent on the internet many hours.I couldn’t wait to climb mountains which we planned to climb…
We started on our garden in the early morning.Finally!We went to Prague-Plzen-Regensburg-Munchen-Innsbruck-Brenner-Brunico-Corvara-La Villa.
In the information center in Corvara we found out that weather forecast for next two days is very good.So we decided for Monte Paterno.
Day 2-Monte Paterno
When I opened my eyes I saw only the sun.It was a perfect feeling.After breakfast we went to Rif. Auronzo.We paid 20euro for 7km of road to the hut and then on the parking we prepared for first day in the mountains this year.Under absolutely blue sky and beside Tre Cime we started our way to Rif.Locatelli.Immediately we made a mistake and went the upper way,then we had to descend unpleasant scree slope.The way to the hut was a little boring.On the hut,we made break for lunch.We planned an ascent to Torre di Toblin,but we hadn’t too much time.
After five minutes of walk,we came to the first tunnel.So everybody switch on own head-lamp and…Let’s go!It was really fun for me and I was surprised about darkness in the tunnels.
Then we climbed easy ferrata to Colle del Camoscio,there wasn’t any difficult place for me.From col,there was beatifull view to Rif. Locatelli,Torre di Toblin and so on…Ferrata continued to most difficult place of ferrata.But this place wasn’t so difficult.Following way was only walking up.What about view?Tre Cime di Lavaredo in its beauty,Croda dei Toni,real paradise for mountaineer’s eye.
Our descent lead under sharps needles on Forcelle route.I can describe this route as easy and enjoyable.There was small bridge,rock grades,nice views,ladders…,simply very good.When we had a ruins of WWI. on the leftside,we turned right to long and steep scree slope.We ran down it(I like running down on that slopes)Then we continued up on the wide road to Rif. Lavaredo.On hut,my father after loss of gloves,almost lost sunglasses.The final way was “cherry on the cake”.
Day 3-Piz da Lech de Boe
The weather forecast made worse,so we decided for near and not long ferrata to Piz da Lech de Boe.We went by cable-car to Vallon(from Corvara).There was cold.After 10 minutes,we approached the start of ferrata.
First part wasn’t so easy like on Paterno,but I liked it more.We saw the ibex on the opposite slope,he was really good on rocky terrain.We climbed higher to two ladders(it was fun) and then,we reached easy final part.The view wasn’t so good,but lunch was really good…The hungry crows discomforted us,they were really daring. It was similar situation like on M. Paterno…we had to go down.But we went on the 646 way.It was undemanding descent.You can see ladders and big wall,where ferrata goes,from this route.
The way continued to Crep de Mont.Then we went on pastures of cows and on wide road to Corvara.
Day 4-Playing cards
Unfortunately this day was bad weather.So we were in our appartmen for most of day and playing cards.In the afternoon we made small walk to Corvara,to look at the weather forecast.It was good for next day.Our plan was clear…Marmolada.
Getting up so early?!Oh,no…I hate getting up.The morning was similar like previous mornings.Breakfast,preparations and hygiene.
After zig-zag road to passo di Campolongo,passo Pordoi and passo di Fedaia,we came to parking under cable car to Pian dei Fiacconi.It was really nice weather,sun shone…warm day.We must wait for 8.00(cable car starts).I was surprised about cable car,interesting method for transportation people.It was something like cage,where can stand maximum 2 people.I have never seen something like this before.It was incredible view of most of Dolomiti(Sassolungo,Sella group just in front of us,Civetta,Antelao,Monte Pelmo…and of course Marmolada and its glacier).
From Pian dei Piacconi,we started our ascent under wall of Marmolada(606).Then we walked up on the snowfield(very boring for me)to start of ferrata.The last day,it was very bad weather,so we hadn’t the best conditions,ice covered rock.We climbed to forcella della Marmolada.After that there was nice traverse-on the spikes we climbed to ladder of cramps,which conducted us to western edge of Marmolada.
Ferrata continued in easy part,but suddenly,there was another nice,exposed and airy place with cramps.Then many ladders followed.We had good aspect of Grand Vernel.On the ladders I anticipated,that we will be on the summit edge soon.I didn’t confused,after few minutes,on the rightside,there was very big depth and big south wall of Marmolada,so summit can’t be far away.I was at the head,so I walk up last meters,I passed hut on the top and I stood on Marmolada Punta di Penia(the highest point,I’ve ever reached at that time)The view was really great,the best view what I’ve ever had in Dolomiti.On the summit,we were 90 minutes(one of many things,why I like Dolomiti-I can stay on the summit very long time,with beautifull views and I can have a lunch). Our descent conducted by normal.We walked down snowy part and then we descended rock leading to glacier.The way to Pian dei Fiacconi wasn’t so interesting.
We didn’t go back by cable car,but we went under it.It was pleasant way with beatifull aspect to Lago di Fedaia.I was at the head again,so I made little relax near lake.It was good after exhausting,but beatifull day.
Day 6-Monte Nuvolau
Although it was bad weather,we went to Monte Nuvolau.Our starting place was passo Falzarego.Ascent started on wet meadows.My boots were absolutely dirty.After boring way especially on the wide path we approach Rif. Averau.Then we ascended Monte Nuvolau.It was neverending way for me.From summit,we didn’t see anything,so we returned back by same way.This day was one of the most boring,what I’ve ever had in mountains.
Day 7-Piz Boe
On the highs was snow(because last bad day).Ferrata won’t be today.After long making decision, we choosed Piz Boe.Zig-zag road again,…From passo Pordoi, we went by cable car to Sass Pordoi.Motto on the ticket was pertinent, Sass Pordoi is really La terazza delle Dolomiti.I saw White queen of Dolomiti(Marmolada) or white Piz Boe. There was 30cm of snow. Simply good view point.Our way conducted around Rif. Forcella Pordoi.
From hut, we approached the summit in 40 minutes.Clouds rose up and our perfect view was gone.As usual we had a lunch on the summit.
In deep powder, we descended to Rif. Boe.Then we approched Rif. Forcella Pordoi on the way which goes under Piz Boe.That was nice way,no rises.And then we walked down under cable car on the green meadows full of marmots to passo Pordoi.Perfect timing,when I sat into car,it started to rain.
Day 8-Moving to Pont
In the early morning we started our way from La Villa to Pont over Bolzano,Verona,Milano and Aosta.In Pont,there was really bad weather,but good weather forecast surprised us, pleasantly.
Day 9-Ascent to the bivouac
In the morning,we just relaxed.After preparing and lunch,we started our ascent.It was really exhausting for me,I wasn’t accustomed to heavy rucksack.Anyway,I was about 5 minutes before my parents.The way to the hut was nice.Sometimes I could see first high mountains(Ciarforon...) in the clouds.
When I was walking there,I was thinking about our bivouac and especially about tomorrow ascent.In the hut,I took(as usually) the stamp into my “mountain passport” and without long hesitation,we set forward.After ascending a little steep slope,we reached a plateau with places for tents.We found good one with “protective” wall.Almost everywhere were extrements of ibexs(or another animal,but I didn’t care). We were only one group with tent that evening,the others slept in the hut.After drinking litres of tea,we went to sleep.It was my first bivouac.I expected it to be worse.
Day 10-Gran Paradiso(summit day)
Getting up a little early than normal,2.15a.m.Tea as the rote and a few biscuits.The advantage was,that I hadn’t to wear…3.30 a.m.,time to go.We were first group.Immediately,I realized,that the ascent won’t be like funny trip to outlook-tower in Czech republic.We reached bottom of glacier’s steep slope.Unfortunately,we put crampons just in the middle of slope,experience missed us…We saw first groups just near our tent,we had one hour lead.There was deep powder,because last days wasn’t so good weather.I looked forward to sunrise,but the sun didn’t shine to us.It was cold for me.I didn’t enjoy great view of the Alps in sunrise light.Final traverse under crevasse was neverending.
Final rocky ridge was under snow.One of my feet was really cold.We were first on the summit.I didn’t enjoy it,I wanted to go down,into beams of sun.
While descending,we met the others.Suddenly,it was warm.Descent was great.I enjoyed it,at least.On the glacier we had a lunch.Bread and cheese.I have never had so burning cheese like that one.My mouth is burning yet.After packing the tent ant cup of tea,we descended to the hut.Then we went down to camp.Thunderstorm just started,when we reached the camp.Good timing again.
Day 11-Moving under Mont Blanc
This day,we moved to France under Mont Blanc.Pont-Courmayer-Mont Blanc tunnel(20euro)-Chamonix-La Fayet-camp Les Betoux.Lovely camp.I liked it.We enjoyed the view from our tent to Mont Blanc massif,especially Aig. de Bionassay.And view of the other hills with perfect light at sunset.It was awesome.
Day 12-Ascent to Aig. du Gouter(bivouac)
The Tramway du Mont Blanc was older than I expected,but mainly slower(that was a problem during return).The rucksack wasn’t so heavy and the way to Ref. Tete Rouse was OK.Near hut,we had small lunch and then we came to wall of Aig. du Gouter.In the couloir,my mum had very very big luck,because the stones fell down and one of them flew blankety near of her head.Ascent in the wall was steep,but almost easy.There were many people.On the top,we found good place for tent.The afternoon was lovely,absolute peace with tea and biscuits.In the evening,Aig. de Bionassay was awesome,but I think,it could be better.We went to sleep at 9 p.m.
Day 13-Mont Blanc(summit day)
Mobile phone woke us at 1.30 a.m.I had intermittent sleep.After an hour,we started our ascent.Finally,I had looked for this moment from November.I was fascinated with lights in the valleys The others started from hut after 20 minutes.The ascent to Dome du Gouter was only walking up in the darkness..It was pleasant,when we stood almost on Dome du Gouter and small descent was before us.We didn’t see Mont Blanc,we only anticipated its silhouette in the dark.Unfortunately,reaching Col du Dome was fast.Ascending started to be more difficult.We missed Ref. Vallot and then we went into deep way(about 50cm).Weather was colder and colder and I perceived,that I made the mistake with clothing only the vest,sweatshirt and Gore-tex anorak.My luck in bad luck was only slow wind.The ascent wasn’t exposed,it was without problem.
I counted the steps on 4700m,I made 15-20 steps and then I stoped.I didn’t take interest in aspect and the beauty,which was around me,but my only interest was the summit.Finally at 5.55 a.m. I stood on the highest point of Europe(or not??What is the highest?? At my school,the teacher said me Mont Blanc,but when we learned about border Europe-Asia,Elbrus was in Europe).
I was cold,very cold.Unfortunately,I didn’t enjoy the summit.Hardly,I photographed my parents and then I took my hands into gloves very quicly.After about 30 minutes of descent,it was better,because sun started to shine.Suddenly,I photographed and enjoyed great views.Descent was lovely.On Col du Dome my parents drunk for the first time.We hadn’t thermosbottle,so ice tea wasn’t good.Now I regret,that we didn’t go to the summit of Dome du Gouter,there had to be great view of Aig. de Bionassay(how I can see on the pictures,here on summitpost).We had great view from ridge of Aig. du Gouter,at least.
During the packaging the tent,I had headache,because too little food and drink.I ate two DELI and I drunk warm tea and it was much better.First part of the wall Aig. du Gouter was icy,we had to go very carefully. In the middle of wall,I started to think about colouir,I wanted to have it behind me.We musted to wait 5 minutes.I thought,that stones won’t fall down,because low temperature,but that was false.Before us,two people had big luck.Fortunately,we had it too.All of us traversed colouir without falling stone.After one hour break near Tete Rouse,we descended to Le Nid de Aigle.,It was absolutely delicious part of descent.In Tramway,there was unbelievable warm.During the ride,I slept.It was gorgeous day.
Next day we returned home.
This holiday was absolutely great,it was an adventure.I proved to myself,that I can climb big mountains and it’s good feeling.I hope,that’s the start…