An early summer in Chamonix continues to be eminent. Warm temps and the lack of precipitation make skiing objectives less attractive. Some climbing may be in order for me before my departure on May 2. That said, I received an invite from my guide friend, Jean, for another adventure over in Italia. He has two clients in town with designs on Mt. Blanc and they need some acclimatization and touring miles before that happens.
Pat and I had time for one more outing before he had to leave to guide a client on the Ortler Tour in Italy. Both of us had designs on summiting Mt. Blanc and thought that doing the classic traverse would be the way to go. This route starts at the top of the Midi and hits the tops of Mt. Blanc du Tacul, Mt. Maudit and, finally, the MB. This covers significant linear distance as well as the obvious vertical.
It’s great to have game partners and my friend Pat is at least that and quite capable and fit, too. He’s between guiding gigs right now and eager to get out above Chamonix to ski and climb anything. We had some friends ski a line from the Col du Tacul and said it was fun so we headed off there.
I’ve been in Chamonix just a touch over a month now and I’m feeling more settled. I’ve met more of the locals and have been out skiing with some of them. It’s been super fun having access to local knowledge. Chamonix is completely intimidating until you figure some of this stuff out. That happens a lot faster with some inside info.
I came to Chamonix 3 weeks ago with a calm mind and no firm objectives. Over the years I’ve learned that the quickest way to a humbling beatdown is to show up at a new area with all guns blazing. Sure, the truly gifted and unfathomably talented (think Alex Honnold climbing anywhere in the world) can get away with it but most of us need to wade in from the shallow end.