Thursday, June 19, 2008
Mont Blanc Climbed Under Difficult Conditions
AAI Guide Tim Connelly reports on one of the first successful climbs of France's 15,771-foot Mont Blanc this season:
Climber David Salesin of Seattle, with AAI’s Chamonix based guide Pete Mason, had a very successful trip on Mont Blanc, having been able to summit in a very small weather window. Bad weather has shut down the majority of climbing teams these past few weeks. It is absolutely pouring with rain outside right now, and when ever you get a glimpse up through the clouds you see fresh snow on the lower hillsides as well as the mountains. It was with these cold and snowy weather patterns in mind after arriving at Mont Blanc’s Gouter Hut that Pete and David came to the conclusion to then carry on to the summit that afternoon and evening rather than risk waiting for the traditional early morning start and getting weathered out.
It was long, cold, and grueling and a few hours after a fantastic sunset they arrived at the summit at around 11:30pm. Other teams that left the following morning at the regular time of 3:00am were not to reach the summit as the weather had by then moved in. Hats off to them and the tremendous effort they put into this.”
To view David's photos from the climb, follow this link: http://salesin.cs.washington.edu/Postcards/