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 Post subject: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:24 pm
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Location: Seattle, Wa/Chamonix, France
I finally, FINALLY got to the top of the Mont White! I've never attempted because the route's never been in condition the past couple years when I've been in Cham, either too dangerous or not skiable due to low snow and tons of crevasses. It's been an incredible year and the normal ski route was completely filled in and ready to go. Intense warming and high winds the week before our climb was downright scary with all the snow we'd had this season. Massive avalanches, serac falls and wet-slides seemed inescapable so I didn't go into the mountains for almost a week. With temps almost hitting 80 in Chamonix, watching the action from town, bronzing, was fine with me.

A chunk of the Taconnaz glacier fell from thousands of feet above the village. Thanks to the paravalanche, it didn't destroy anything or anyone.
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That week half the seasons snow had fallen off and melted it seemed. We got the impression the snow had settled a lot and with a decreasing freezing level forecasted, Dave, Danny and I decided to go for the summit on my last two days in Cham.

After a heinous and heady traverse under the north face of the midi and through the Bosson Glacier we arrived at the Grand Mulet hut. This traverse isn't fun, especially when you're left for dead by some skiers.
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We found some buddies from Jackson who were attempting the climb the next day as well. We hung out, drank beer and watched some giant serac fall action. There were about 20 people staying at the hut and going for the summit in the morning.
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Sunrise from the Dome du Gouter N ridge. The skin up to the ridge was about 20 switchbacks on steep, slippery, hard snow in the dark. A fall here would be certain death and would follow the same trajectory as the piece of the Taconnaz that fell off. I lost my marbles and had to put my splitboard crampons on for the first time. There was about 100 feet of the ridge that was hard glacier ice so we placed some screws and pitched it out. Dave wasn't stoked on his aluminum pons as they ricocheted off the ice.
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Sunrise with the Midi on the left.
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Ridge to the summit.
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Petite Mont Blanc and the Bonatti couloir that I rode a week prior. The massive 3,000 ft couloir seemed so small from up there.
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SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M
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Shreddage.
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We rode through the N corridor as fast as possible. This zone likes to shit down often and kill people.
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POW!
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Dave and Danny shredding with the Grand Mulet hut and Chamonix in the distance. The pow soon turned to knee deep mank as we made it down to town. We had a 15 minute walk down to Pizza Paradis. Then I packed my bags and bounced the next am. It was a fantastic conclusion to an EPIC season in Chamonix! I left feeling pretty satisfied.
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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:24 pm
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Location: Salzburg / Austria
Amazing stuff, Liz!

I've planned the same peak for the second week of May!
However I'm considering to go for the traverse via Tacul and Maudit rather than the Mulet route, as the ice fall issues on Petit Plateau scare me.

However climbing the 40-45° ice up Tacul/Maudit isn't so nice either, as the sole of my softboots isn't the stiffest.

How did La Jonction go, on the ride down? Difficult to get through?


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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 6:09 am
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Location: Torino, Western Alps
Oh my god!! :drool: :drool: :headbang: Amazing trip..

it seems very popular.. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:44 pm
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Location: The Magic City
Super cool TR. Allez!

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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:28 am
Posts: 78
wow! beautiful shots. good job finishing your season out there in style!


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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:24 pm
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Location: Seattle, Wa/Chamonix, France
"Amazing stuff, Liz!

I've planned the same peak for the second week of May!
However I'm considering to go for the traverse via Tacul and Maudit rather than the Mulet route, as the ice fall issues on Petit Plateau scare me.

However climbing the 40-45° ice up Tacul/Maudit isn't so nice either, as the sole of my softboots isn't the stiffest.

How did La Jonction go, on the ride down? Difficult to get through?"

Hey! We actually wanted to go the 3 Mont way because of the icefall danger as well but the bootpack wasn't in yet. We figured it faster to go the Gouter route. I think once the booter is in the 3 Mont is the way to go then you ride down the north, normal route. I don't think that traverse up to the col on Maudit is as bad as it looks. The Junction was fine, you just have to ride fast. No uphills or anything so I didn't get stuck. The snow is so fat this year, it's really easy to avoid cracks.

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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:54 pm
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Location: Jackson, WY
Beautiful. Love your trip reports.


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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:08 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
That shit is downright cool. :doobie:


:bow: We are not worthy. :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:33 pm
Posts: 27
Hell Yeah Liz! That second sunrise shot is unreal.

Back to the NW?


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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:06 pm
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Location: Orange County, California
Way to finish of a stay in Chamonix Liz! Great job! :thumpsup: :clap: :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: LE SOMMET DU MONT BLANC 4810 M!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm
Posts: 941
Location: reiter hills
Way to cap off an epic season over there liz!

Washington just got a ton radder.


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