Being the first day of summer Tim (good friend / climbing partner and all round playmate) and I set our sights on a nice summer season warm up as a prelude to bigger and dare i say better things later in the season. We were join by a co-worker of Tim's Kevin.
Having been in the area before we felt happy with a "late" start from Champery which turn out to be after 5am. After a comfortable hike we entered the valley behind dent du midi, i was surprized by the lack of snow .On making it to the Col we kicked back for a while made a couple of brews had a bite to eat. Then headed for the summit at about 10am due to the lack of snow on the mountain i didn't (and still don't) see the late start as a problem, we hammer through the first third of the route till the pass between the rockie out crop the next section of scree really slowed us down stone fall becoming a major problem. On the summit shoulder at about 3000m we had a short snack break, then we cut a straight line to the summit, choosing not to use a earlier parties route. The soft midday snow proved hard going. We summited a bit before 1pm after spending about 30mins on the summit doing the normal ..photo's , phone calls and food. We all decend the first hundred or so metre in a seated glissade. Stopping and regrouping we then went to glissade the next section, I opted to move more to the left before starting my glissade which would put me in a better line with the route down just before a rock band, a distance of about 30-40metres away. Then about 10-15 metres from the rock band "shit happened" just below the snow, lay a layer of ice which my heals and spike of my light weight axe just skated on, realising that i was in trouble i rolled into a arrest position, a split second later i hit the rock band. From this point things are a bit confused... I think as i hit the rock band (it was about 20 metres wide then droped away by about 5m to a snow slope that ended in the valley about 700 odd metres below) my left shoulder dislocated, some how i managed to get purchase(more good luck that technique), leaving me about 2 metres from the end rock band, lying on my left arm in a mixture of loss scree and snow. Ever movement causing extreme pain and causing me to slipe just a bit more. Tim quickly joined me helping me onto my side as i kicked a small ledge.
NOW FOR THE FUN, having dislcoted my shoulder before i knew the deal, I / We had to get it back in fast or it was going to be impossible, luckly or unluckly Tims brother is a doctor so he rang him for some instruction, but he was not answering but Tim then tried another doctor friend who gave a few pointers ( I was later told that she had never done it herself and had last seen it done about 8 years ago). The plan was for me to lie over Kevins back as Tim relocated it, big surprize it didn't work. Not having a rope to try work some kind of way to help me down with one arm over the loss scree things looked bad. After a lot of different ideas we made the call for a Rescue helicopter, realising that it was really going to be the only safe way off. In what seemed like a life time (but was maybe only 15mins but i really don't know) the chopper entered the valley, sited us then flew off. Thank god that i had seen a couple of rescues in the past or i think i could have cried at the sight of it flying off in about five minute two medic lowered down to me shooting me up with something that helped a bit. They then harnessed me up and cabled me down to the col, thank god for the pain or it would have been a whole lot scarier.
To cut a long story short I was then flown to Martigny hospital for xrays then a few failed relocation attempt... due to my muscular build (so they said) and the fact that i was to tense... more the latter i think. Then off to the theatre to turn my lights out for a while. I woke to find me arm back in.
At about 9pmish Tim made it off the mountain to take me home for a beer.
In conculsion I would like to thank The Chopper crew and the Hospital Staff for there care and assistance.
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