In August 2011, myself and some good mates from London threw ourselves in the deepend by heading to the French Alps and climbing Mont Blanc. Mountain environments are foreign to all of us, as we all grew up near the beach, apart from skiing holidays, South-east Queensland kinking and some training weekends in North Wales, but you could hardly call these real mountains. We had little high-altitude exposure and our technical mountains skills were minimal, exhibited by this being the first time any of us had used crampons.
So we organised for Mont Blanc Guides to assist in getting us to the top of continental Europe’s highest peak. We rate this company and their guides highly. Not only did they get us to the top and back safely (safety is the number 1 priority), they were great fun guys who had good banter and took everything we threw at them.
The photos tell the story.
Our awesome Chalet above Chamonix in the Foothills of Mont Blanc
Preparing to climb Gran Paradiso, Italy’s highest peak – this was Mont Blanc prep
A view up to Gran Paradiso
Waiting to summit Gran Paradiso, but we didn’t make it as the weather set in.
The Boys – pumped to be up in the mountains – Andrew, Me, Fabian, Ollie, Timmy, Fooey
A mountain hut on Gran Paradiso – we stayed overnight to help acclimatise
A picture of readiness
The weather could not have been more perfect for us
Our accommodation on the Mountain
This guy nearly died after falling into Le Grand Couloir but we watch him get rescued
The clarity of the view was stunning
A nervous pre-climb dinner, in a few hours we are heading up
Watching Le Grand Couloir get angry after a full day of sunshine, no one dead today
Blimey, are we really doing this? The nerves prior to dangerous Le Grand Couloir crossing
Relived to have made it safely to the top of Le Grand Coulior
The highest toilet in the Alps, it wasn’t pretty in there
Some dude go hardcore and camp out on the mountain, no luxuries here
A view up to the summit of Mont Blanc, from here it was 3.5hrs solid climbing
The false summits were entertaining, you think you are nearly there, but another appears
Passing some of the boys on their way down after summiting, elated!
Summiting Mont Blanc in perfect weather, it was a great feeling
Ollie and I celebrating our moment
Nerves prior to crossing Le Grand Couloir, it was angry and rocks the size of cars were coming down every few minutes. 3 hrs later a guy died from this exact spot I am in after a rock took him out, we saw the drama unfold from below
Watching a rescue crew attempt to recover a guy who got hit by a large falling rock. He fell 300 ft into the canyon and died
A happy crew completing the adventure of a lifetime and a great tour