After six days of chaining myself to my desk to catch up on work it was high time to get back on the mountain. I dialed up Idris and Patagonian Thomas and we set off up the Mont Blanch du Tacul for a little morning exercise.
NOTE: This trip report cross-posted on Teton Gravity Research forums (see thread here)
Good weather... check! High haze becoming thick high clouds later.
Idris motoring up. See that huge serac fall right over top of the Grands Mullets normal route up Mont Blanc in the background? Scary stuff out here...
Can you spot the Matterhorn?
A fine day for a bit of ski mountaineering.
Aiguille du Midi to 3842m, slight descent and traverse to 3500m, and then straight up to 4171m. 4000m peaks don't come much easier.
We are not alone on this mountain. The French GEED to the left of me has just made some nasty remarks to me and Thomas and is about to get the verbal beating of his mountaineering career... story for another day.
Cresting the ridgeline, the Mont Maudit comes into view. We had hoped to shoot for this one today but the face is looking pretty hairy even for a ski descent, let alone a ski climb up. Save it for better conditions.
Tom on the final stretch, which involves some light scrambling.
Making my best attempt to blasphamize at the summit cross.
The obligitory group photo...
Down Down Down
...and we're off!
And hey, this snow is not bad!
No, it is NOT BAD AT ALL!
Slight traverse required with some pretty cool exposure - seracs providing the danger on the top and a big friggin crevasse providing the danger below.
And now Idris wants to go exploring...
My what an interesting little tunnel have you found Idris?
What's on the other side?
Well, that was a cool little detour!
And finally a little ramble down the Vallee Blanche gets us some nice spring cruising snow to finish it off before we chow down on lunch on the little Montenvers train back. Nice day!
Thanks Idris and Thomas. See you for the next one.