Mont Blanc « Our dream becomes true »

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
France, Europe
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jul 8, 2006
Activities:
Mountaineering
Season:
Summer
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Mont Blanc  « Our dream becomes true »
Created On: Jul 26, 2006
Last Edited On: Mar 25, 2010

Intro

(Continued from Trip Report: Aiguille du Tour & Aiguilles Dorées – Warming Up for Mont Blanc)

After one year of dreams, plans, efforts, a lot of preparation and even some hesitations “show-time” has arrived for the “Blanco” brothers. The moment Gabi and I have long waited with so much enthusiasm is here. Our “rendez-vouz” to climb this mythical mountain has come.

Due to the hot weather, seracs are trembling in the route of the three 4000s (Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc) so it is really dangerous. We need to adjust our plans, so we decide to go through the more typical route of Dôme du Goûter (Bosses Ridge) . There’s only one problem, no room available in the Goûter Hut so we will need to climb from Tête Rousse (se we need to sum 2hs to climb and another 2hs to descend). Apart from this, weather forecast is positive for Saturday the 8th of July.

Day 6 – Approach – Tête Rousse - July 7, 2006

We took the cable car of Bellevue in the town of Les Houches (10Km from Chamonix) and then the tramway to “Nid de Aigle” (2386m) where we hiked in the fog to Tête Rousse Hut (3167m). From the hut we took some beautiful pictures of the sunset and Bionnassay Glacier. Then we passed the shortest night of our lives.

Train of Nid de Aigle (2386m)
Train in Nid d Aigle (2386m) - Mont Blanc Area



Bionnassay Glacier sunset – from Tête Rousse Hut
Bionnassay Glacier (Mont Blanc Area) sunset

Day 7 – The longest day & the happiest day - July 8, 2006

01h30am - Tête Rousse Hut (3167m)
03h30am - Aiguille du Goûter Hut (3817m)
08h30am - Mont Blanc Summit (4808m)
11h30am - Aiguille du Goûter Hut
13h30am - Tête Rousse Hut
16h00pm - Nid d’Aigle (2386m)
17h30pm - Chamonix


It’s 12h45 am in the morning, frontals begin to switch on and alarms begin to switch off. In a couple of minutes everybody is on their feet, preparing for the great adventure. My brother looks excellent; he plays with Luis another Spanish colleague, both try to hold their nerves. Unfortunately in my case, my stomach is giving me some trouble.

Sleepy, we face and negotiate the quite demanding 650m of rock climbing up to the Goûter Hut where we arrive 2 hours later. We drink a bit of water, fix our crampons and begin to head the broad snow ridge that will take as to the summit of the Dôme du Goûter (4303m). Just 15m later a strong wind begins to blow and we need to put our jackets and gloves.

Mont Blanc – dawn from Dôme du Goûter (4303m)
Mont Blanc – dawn



Then endless slopes come one after the other, like a repetitive dream, a white and windy nightmare, but it is real and beautiful, it’s magic and the sky is clear. We need to do something anyhow not to give up. We apply then the “ticky – tacka” football tactics to the zig-zag, zig-zag, zig-zag… my eyes closing, step after step, the steps of my brother, in front of me, have a kind of hypnotic effect. Then, I hear my angel saying “don’t worry, you just move, climb, climb … “. One step, another step, one slope another slope … I breath deeply and this helps me, deep breaths, aspiration – expiration, aspiration-expiration, it’s cold, I put the gloves on my cheeks. Gabi looks pretty fine, sometimes we need to make the windmill to warm up our fingers. My stomach is under control, the worse is over…
Again the “ticky – tacka” tactics, but we don’t have a ball, there’s only one word … ENDURANCE, and then I remember Shackleton of the Antartic and the modified version of his phrase “With Endurance and Love we Conquer”.

Some technical stops here and there to drink, to eat, to recompose, share a couple of encouraging words. We pass the Col du Goûter (4240m), the Vallot hut and then the ridge that leads to snowy ridge bumps, the Grande Bosse (4513m) and the Petite Bosse(4547m). After that the ridge becomes very narrow and leads past the rock of La Tournette (4677m). A final steep slope brings us to the summit where all our best emotions flourish, explode. We are there, we’ve make it !!! It was one of the happiest days of our lives.

Mont Blanc (4808m)
Mont Blanc  (4808m)


8h30am - Gabi (right) and I (left) in the Mont Blanc summit & A happy man in the Mont Blanc summit
Mont Blanc summit  (4808m)
Mont Blanc summit


Some photos, some thoughts to our beloved, a very emotive hug with Gabi, some food and water and we initiate descend.

Return was tough, specially the 2hs dancing on the rocks down from the Goûter Hut to the Tête Rousse Hut. Here we discovered the Aiguille du Gouter and its famous & dramatic Grand Couloir. In the ascend, as it was deep night, we did not realize the difficulty and quite impressive "killing" slope.

Aiguille du Goûter & Grand Couloir from Goûter Hut

Aiguille du Goûter & Grand Couloir


Down in Tête Rousse Hut it was proposed the “culo/bottom ski” system down the Bionnassay Glacier and a final “zombie-like” hike to the train of Nid d’Aigle, where we finally arrive exhausted, it’s been 15hs of demanding physical and mental effort.

Down in Les Houches we take some beers and then back in Chamonix a delicious dinner. We prefer rest to further celebration. Gabi and I need to go back to Paris on Sunday morning. During the trip we talk widely about the wonderful experience and our next challenging projects.

Acknowledgement

We do not want to end this trip report without our acknowledgement to our guides Marc and Jean-Philippe for the excellent preparation and support and to our Spanish friends Luis & Fran with whom we enjoyed an intense and unforgettable Alpine week.

Link

Mountain Clubs in Spain and Madrid:

Dreampeaks-Mountain Club with Guides





Comments

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jordansahls

jordansahls - Jul 30, 2006 5:29 pm - Voted 10/10

Amazing!

Congrats on your success on Mont Blanc! It always feels amazing when you do something that you were never sure you had the ability to do in the first place, great job!

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:22 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Amazing!

Thanks. Indeed we are yet digesting the story. You never know where your limits are !

Rafa Bartolome

Rafa Bartolome - Jul 30, 2006 9:20 pm - Voted 10/10

Congratulations

Thanks to you what I remember when my dream come true the last year, in july of 2005. It's not only a high mountain it's really a beautifull and shine mountain!

Bienvenidos al club de los que hemos subido el Mont Blanc!!

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:23 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Congratulations

Gracias. Es un placer compartir suenos.

Nyle Walton

Nyle Walton - Jul 31, 2006 2:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Fifty years ago

It appears that you took the same route I took forty-seven years ago. I reached the Gouter refuge alone but the next morning roped up between two German climbers to trudge to the top. The weather was perfect. See my summit registration.

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:28 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Fifty years ago

Waaoo man, that's great !. I think you got a fantastic year. I consider San Fermin fiesta as one of the best of the world ! Even you were meeting Heminway... I was this summer in Cuba and we went to the famous "Bodeguita del Medio" in La Havana where he took his mojitos !
Congratulations Nyle for your long alpine career!

Charles

Charles - Jul 31, 2006 3:23 pm - Voted 10/10

well done!

thanks,

Charles

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:41 am - Hasn't voted

Re: well done!

thanks a lot !

Diego Sahagún

Diego Sahagún - Jul 31, 2006 4:21 pm - Voted 9/10

Si, como dice...

Rafa, bienvenido al club de los que hemos subido el Mont Blanc. A parte de esto quería preguntarte una cosilla. Por lo que se ve en la vista desde el Refugio Gouter había nevado recientemente y no tuvisteis buen tiempo el primer día ¿No?

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:41 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Si, como dice...

Gracias Diego.
El dia anterior habia estado nevando e hizo bastante mal tiempo; hubo muy pocas cordadas que subieron. De hecho nosotros estabamos cruzando los dedos porque se nos acababa la estancia. Finalmente, el dia del ascenso solo tuvimos mucho frio y viento desde el Refugio de Gouter hasta el Refugio de Vallot. A partir de ahi Sol, sol, sol.

Diego Sahagún

Diego Sahagún - Aug 24, 2006 5:00 pm - Voted 9/10

Re: Si, como dice...

Ya se a que viento te refieres, la primera vez que intentamos el Mont Blanc lo sufrimos en Julio del 90. Nos volvimos desde el Vallot ya que aun éramos muy pardillos y decidíamos las cosas por votación. Los que dijeron de bajar decían que no llegaríamos a coger el último tren en Nid d'Aigle. Yo voté seguir adelante pero no salió. Bastante tiempo después, en Agosto de 2001 hicimos cumbre. Los que no subían se iban quedando por el camino, una pareja de amigos en el Dôme du Goûter y mi padre en el Vallot. A la vuelta nos fuimos encontrando con ellos y mientras se hablaba yo subí al Dôme du Goûter, una cima realmente plana.

eza

eza - Aug 1, 2006 12:43 pm - Voted 10/10

Well done!!

Enhorabuena, congratulations, félicitations... There aren't enough words for that climb, are there? And thank you for bringing back many happy memories of our climb in July 2005.

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:44 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Well done!!

Thanks a lot. Absolutely right, it's impossible to describe accurately all the emotions and thoughts. In any case, as mentioned it was one of the happiest days of my life.

bbirtle

bbirtle - Aug 4, 2006 10:11 pm - Voted 10/10

Congratulations...

...Mont Blanc is certainly a great, hard-won summit. Nice one.

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:46 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Congratulations...

Thanks a lot. True... not easy... a good dosis of courage was needed and then the tactics narrated in tr helped a lot ; ).

TodoVertical

TodoVertical - Aug 10, 2006 12:12 pm - Voted 10/10

Sois unas maquinas

Bien hecho chicos !!

Con mis mejores deseos desde la region de Ladahk en el Himalaya de la India

Jonas

pablo

pablo - Aug 24, 2006 10:47 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Sois unas maquinas

Muchas gracias Jonas. Ten por seguro que tu has sido parte del exito. Espero que estes pasandotelo fenomeno en el Himalaya. Ya nos contaremos y enhorabuena por el evento de Cercedilla
Un abrazo

Dean

Dean - Sep 11, 2006 11:24 am - Voted 10/10

Great TR

I had a chance to read your trip report Pablo and it was terrific.
Nicely done and thanks for sharing your adventure.

pablo

pablo - Sep 11, 2006 1:22 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great TR

Thanks a lot Dean. Good to hear from you again !

icypeak

icypeak - Jan 29, 2007 10:47 pm - Hasn't voted

Congratulations!

I am planning Mt Blanc this year and read your story with great enthusiasm. I was in Chamonix last year, got acclimatized and then the weather did not co-operate before the end of my vacation. So, I dream until this summer and thank you very much for sharing your story. If I make it, like you, it will likely be one of the happiest days of my life. Congratulations again on your super achievement!!!

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