Mont Blanc was on my wish list for a long time. Now, in late season I had the time to do it. But who should accompany me on the way to the highest summit of the Alps. My climbing-partner Nikman had a lot of business to do and Thomas (schmid_th) had health-problems of a disastrous Lyskamm-trip.
So I decided to do it on my own, alone with a tent and my lovely stove.
I drove from Munich where I had some business to do to Chamonix on Friday night. I started my trip at Les Houches at the cable car to Bellevue and continued to Nid d`Aigle with the "Mont Blanc Tramway" in the morning. The frist part, the route to Refuge de Tete Rousse was a boring hiking trip. After it follows the small glacier-traverse and the crossing of the Grand Couloir. The Grand Coulior was very icy but very quite with less rockfall due to the cold morning. The ascent to Refuge de Gouter was free of snow, so I had no problems on the way to this high frequented hut. At "Gouter" there was a lot of turbulence and I were glad to avoid a stay. I built my tent, cooked a little bit Pasta and prepared myself for the last part to Mont Blanc.
I started at 2.15pm and reached the summit at 5.45pm. It was a very nice and mostly lonely trip. The conditions were perfect, high temperatures and no wind. On the way up I met three Romanians carrying heavy load for a bivy at Vallot. They were a little bit exhausted and told me they had not done a 4.000m peak before and had not done a acclimatisation trip. I wished them good luck and predicted them a sleepless night at Vallot (4.350m!!!).
Short before the summit a paraglider shot above the summit-ridge and made a loud "Yeeehaa!" and glided down to Chamonix. What a way to climb a mountain! Fantastic! Going up on the highest peak of the Alps and gliding down in some minutes to the car without a strenous descent. ;-)
I was alone on the summit. It was a fantastic moment. I couldn´t imagine how annoying it would be to share this summit with many other mountaineers. I stayed there for 15 minutes and waited for the last group of this day. We made some shots of each other and I started my descent to be at my tent by the last light.
The next morning in the darkness, I heard the mass ascending next to my tent. I smiled into the sleeping bag.
By the first light I packed my stuff and descended to Nid d`Aigle. I passed the Grand Couloir in the cold morning so it was very quite and safe once again.
At Nid d`Aigle I thought about that I was a very lucky guy. Good weather, no wind, no problems at Grand Couloir or the campsite, alone on the summit with fantastic views. That was really a good trip.