OK, well the day has finally arrived … well nearly 😉 Tomorrow morning I head for the airport for a red eye to Geneva. From there I will be taking a transfer to the beautiful town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. By this time next week hopefully I will be able to say that I have hiked and climbed to the top of Mont Blanc!
The rough plan is that after we arrive in Chamonix, we will get settled into our digs for a few of the days while we are there. This will be a chalet in the valley, I think we will be staying here for about 2 or 3 days of the trip.
Day one, which is Thursday, will involve a lot of intense training. This will be about how to use the appropriate gear correctly. For example, crampons, how to be roped to someone and so on. This will be a really critical part of the trip as these skills are the ones that will keep us all safe. I expect a busy day with a lot to take in but I am looking forward to it.
Head For The Hills
I think come Friday we will head for the hills. As we make our way up, I think we will take every opportunity to practice all the skills from day one in the real environment. The first mountain we climb is Gran Paradiso.
It goes to a height of, approximately, 4000 meters. I think this is really where we cut our cloth with regards to all the skills we learned on day one. I think we will try and summit on either the Friday or Saturday, not 100% sure. All will be weather permitting of course.
Then I think we aim for Mont Blanc itself on the Saturday / Sunday / Monday. As I understand it, a three day window is left open to try and give ample opportunity to get up it as the weather can be very unpredictable. As I mentioned in my post on Mont Blanc earlier in year, it is possible that you go all that way and you don't get to climb it. If the weather isn't suitable, it's just too dangerous.
The evenings we're up in the mountains we stay in the huts. I think there are a couple at the base of the main ascent routes to the top of Mont Blanc. I haven't seen one of these huts but they sound comfortable enough. I doubt they're the Hilton 😉 but they have bunk beds, food and are warm so they should be fine after a long days trekking!
I'm really looking forward to getting to see and hike in the Alps!
Well, I am off work today, the day before I go, so I have plenty of time to get ready. The company we are going with gave us a detailed and extensive equipment list which I got the last few bits for this morning. I have everything, more or less, packed up and ready to go. Everything else I will hire when I get there.
I actually have my rain jacket in the washing machine reproofing as I type. Figured it was a good idea to give it a wash and a reproof before heading over. If you don't know what reproofing is or if you want to learn more about how to care for your waterproof hiking jacket correctly, check this post out.
So, that's really that for this post. It will probably be quiet here until I get back next week. I assume I'll have lot's to share about my experience.
I am really looking forward to it. There will be a lot of stuff to take on board and it will be an alien environment to me. I'll also have altitude to deal with which is another new experience. It's challenging and exciting, that is for sure.
Hopefully this time next week I will have been to the top of Mont Blanc 😉