I had a fantastic week on Mt Blanc! The photo below is from the summit on Mt Blanc which we reached around midday on 18th of August.
(Ian, Al, Yury and me on the summit of Mt Blanc)
It was cloudy on the summit – we could not see much… However, the views days before and the morning on the way to the summit were stunning (some photos below). I could not believe I wasn’t here before!!
It took us about 6 hrs to reach the top and 4 hrs to get back. Our starting point was Refuge des Cosmiques via three mountains – Mt Blanc du Tacul, col Maudit, Mont Maudit to the summit of Mt Blanc 4807m.
Climbing Mt Blanc is not as simple as you may think. I could never have done it without a guide — too dangerous. There were some steep parts where we had to fix ropes in order to climb up or down.
There were some narrow ridges where we had to walk without being able to hold on to anything, just trusting your climbing mate and the guide attached to you by rope in case you slip. Guide -client ratio is usually 1 to 2 on the summit day. On a normal training day – 1 to 4.
I would highly recommend Mountain Tracks (http://mountaintracks.co.uk) — a UK company for guided climbs of Mt Blanc. They are highly professional and have awesome guides!
Anyway, reaching the summit is a nice reward at the end of a long walk, hard climb, cold, wind, etc. Also, if the weather is bad, you may not reach it. Safety is above everything.
I am extremely happy I was able to go all way up. However, the process of climbing and being high in the mountains is equally important and rewarding to me. No summit can replace friendships we made, laughs, stories, situations we live together. I am thankful to Olly, our guide, for bringing this group together! And to all my group members – Yuri, Al, Ian, Chris, Sean, Dean and Stan — you are awesome!!
I can’t wait to see you all next year on Matterhorn!!!:)