Mont-Blanc 2012

Projet Altitude | Du 09/06/2012 au 16/06/2012 (8 jours)

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Intro

Sometimes, I remember. I remember the taste of this special moment, a strong gale wind in the face, somewhere in the early morning. So close from the top… And, at the same time, so far. Without a doubt, one of the greatest moments in my life…

You may wonder why I don't seem to feel disappointed not to have reached the top of Mount-Blanc that day. Well, what can I say? … There are, sometimes, forces you cannot fight against, and it's not a shame to accept this. We did our best, but, at last, the weather and the mountain decided not to let us go further high. So, there's no need to feel disappointed…

D0 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

09/06/2012 | Grenoble - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

  • I left Grenoble, happy and self-confident.
  • My GPS seemed to know everything about the road to take…
  • … But indicated several times really strange ways.
  • So, I decided to follow my own…
  • … And managed to reach Saint Gervais.
  • The weather was fine…
  • … But, unfortunately, it was about to change.

D1 - Cliffhanger

10/06/2012 | Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - Les Contamines-Montjoie - Tré-la-Tête Shelter

  • My neighbors had a kind of party till late in the night…
  • … So it was difficult to sleep.
  • Hopefully, the rain came and helped me. After a good pour, everynthing was quiet in the camp.
  • When morning came, it was time to begin to training camp.
  • Climbing session.
  • I started suffering blisters…
  • … A bad news regarding the program of the week!

D2 - Ice school

11/06/2012 | Tré-la-Tête Shelter - Tré-la-Tête Glacier - Conscrits Shelter

  • When I woke up, I found my socks completely wet.
  • Water had soaked through the window.
  • Hopefully, one my teammates lent dry socks.
  • La journée a oscillé entre averses et belles éclaircies.
  • We learned how to walk with crampoons on the glacier.
  • Then went to the Conscrits refuge…
  • … Where great home made lasagna were waiting for us!

D3 - Rehearsal

12/06/2012 | Conscrits Shelter - Aiguille de la Bérangère - Tré-la-Tête Glacier - Tré-la-Tête Shelter - Les Contamines-Montjoie - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

  • If you want to see pctures of our ascent to the Aiguille de la Bérangère, come another day!
  • The weather was awful.
  • We walked in the fog and the snow, not able to see more than 10 meters ahead.
  • At the top, don't ask me what was the landscape like…
  • … We could only see white, white and white again.
  • I was hungry…
  • … And so tired when we came back to the campsite, that I went to bed at 7 pm!

D4 - Unballasting

13/06/2012 | Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

  • Nothing special happened that day…
  • … It was just a day of rest.
  • Oh, God! I'm forgetting something: I was celebrating my 30th birthday!
  • I took time to take care of me and of my equipment…
  • … Layed long minutes on my sleeping bag…
  • … Not talking…
  • … Not thinking…
  • … Not doing anything.
  • And if you think it's a sad way to celebrate a birthday, don't worry for me: it was the way I choosed, and I felt really happy about this simplicity.

D5 - The Goûter Refuge

14/06/2012 | Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - Mount Lachat - Tête Rousse Shelter - Goûter Shelter

  • The train dropped us in Mont-Lachat station.
  • It was a perfect sunny day to walk to the Goûter refuge.
  • The road to Tête-Rousse refuge was calm and easy…
  • … Then began the serious stuff.
  • The Goûter corridor…
  • God, shall we really climb up there?
  • For sure!
  • As we were above 3000 meters of high, we began to felt (a bit) what hypoxia was like.
  • The wind was blowing, stronger minute after minute.
  • So we climbed slowly, until we reached the refuge…
  • Ah, the (old) Goûter refuge…
  • … Such an experience…
  • … You should experience by yourself!!!

D6 - The unfinished mountain

15/06/2012 | Goûter Shelter - Dôme du Goûter - Tête Rousse Shelter - Bellevue - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

  • In the (very very) early morning, the wind was still very strong.
  • But we left anyway.
  • I would have loved to stop, to take pictures of what I saw in the end of the night.
  • The wind was so strong, that I sometimes felt as if I was Amundsen trying to reach the South Pole.
  • The ascent wasn't easy…
  • … And when we reached the Dôme du Goûter, it became clear that we wouldn't go to the top that day.
  • The sun has just rose on the Mont-Blanc.
  • One of the most beautiful landscape I've seen in my life.
  • I could have stayed there for the rest of my life…
  • … But it was time to go back…
  • … Without any regret, because there wasn't anything to regret.

D7 - Chamonix

16/06/2012 | Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - Chamonix - Grenoble

  • Time to go back home.
  • After a short stop in Chamonix, we took the highway.
  • It was hot.
  • So hot.
  • Too hot…
  • … We were arriving in Grenoble.