Suite-Next Retour à Sommaire/Contents Retour-backThe first fiasco, or Carry On Up the Valley Blanche

Good weather was upon us (for once) so a move became inevitable. It was decided to head up to the Requin hut, and from there climb the Tour Ronde. From behind the Biolay campsite the path leads straight, or rather not straight but very crookedly, to Montenvers, from where one drops down iron ladders to the Mer de Glace, after a well earned rest and a photo stop for the highly photogenic Petit Dru. Then along the glacier between the crevasses until, just before the impressive ice-fall, a path leads up to the right and the hut. It sounds easy, but for a first outing and very well loaded it was a hell of an introduction to the most horrendous aspect of Alpine climbing; the dreaded hut slog.

Next morning, we got off to a late start (see full text for why) and spent a day in the blazing sun on the Glacier du Géant, we didn't get on to the Tour Ronde, just to the col leading to Italy and the splendid views of the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, the Verte, Dent du Géant and many others. What we did get was totally burnt by the sun, our lily white Northern skins, even when smothered in glacier cream were cooked to a frazzle.

The next day we headed back to Chamonix, the worst affected with brown paper bags on their heads to keep the sun off, not a pretty sight.




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