Mont Blanc

A goal, an objective…it always helps focus the mind. I’ve had Mont Blanc on my mind since a ‘boys’ snowboarding weekend in Chamonix in Feb 2006, which is remembered for three reasons:-
  1. The might and presence of Mont Blanc itself, which left an indelible imprint on my mind
  2. My first helicopter ride after a heavy snowboarding fall led to me being airlifted off the mountain to Chamonix hospital
  3. Arriving home to a letter confirming my recent check-up had confirmed my cancer had returned.
There’s been lots of water under the bridge (I couldn’t think of a mountain metaphor!) since then but presently back to full health and getting back into the mountains mean I feel able to realistically set myself the goal of climbing Mont Blanc next summer. I know if it were a mere tick-list item I could probably go for broke and try for it this summer but half of the fun is in the planning and preparation. I realise technically the Gouter Route up MB is not that difficult, but I enjoy learning new skills so its a good excuse for more scrambling, more winter skills/experience, perhaps a bit of rock-climbing and perhaps a trip to the Alps early next summer in advance of going for MB later in the summer.
Climbing Kilimanjaro gave me some idea of the effects of altitude, though there was little aclimatisation built into the the Kili trip and I hardly trained for it. Fitness and stamina, particularly hill-fitness, will be important for MB, so there’s no substitute for getting out into the mountains. Some longer wildcamps with a heavy pack would perhaps be ideal training!! It’s also a good excuse for looking at new gear – as if I need one!!
So, in fact, just setting the goal ticks lots of boxes well in advance of actually summitting!!

6 thoughts on “Mont Blanc

  1. Hi Ang, you must be gettin withdrawal symptoms after EBC!? I started the EBC planning but circumstance meant is didn't happen but still love to do it in the future. Looks like u've been busy of late, so whats the next 'biggie' for you??

  2. Well my next 'biggie' for now is a trip to London his weekend. I know it may not seem big but its my first trip there! It's to visit a few girls i met on the EBC trek who i've now become great friends with. That's what i love about big trips – meeting people you might not ordinarily meet.
    Anyway my next proper 'biggie' has not been thought of yet – well it has been thought of but i need to put the wheels in motion to get something set in stone… due to the current state of the country's finance, i'm waiting on work deciding who' going to be paid off before i book anything! Testing times…
    I enjoy reading your blog
    Ang :o)

  3. Hey Nigel,

    Just back from Mt Blanc via Gouter route. It was one hell of a day (1:30am start at Tete Rousse, summit at 9:15am and down to Chamonix by 5:30pm) and I'm drained even 2 days after. But it's so so worth it. Not sure I can put it into words yet what it's like up top.

    I'll be writing up trip notes with photos soon but shout if I can help with any kit/training thoughts.

    – Ian

  4. Hey Ian, that's fantastic news – congratulations!! I appreciate its gonna be difficult to capture the essence in words but looking forward to seeing the pic's and hearing about it. Who did you arrange it through or did you just book your own guide? Did you do any alpine skills training first? I'm sure I'll have loads of questions about kit and stuff but I'll be patient till your write-up.
    Nigel

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