Sally Vaughn Alps Climbing • August 2003

Sally Vaughn, from Jackson, Wyoming joined Mark for a week of climbing. Our main objective was, of course to have fun, but secondary goals included Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. We did pretty good, I think.

Other Recent Trips

We started our trip with a few warm-up climbs in the Chamonix area, basing ourselves in the Cosmiques hut. On our first day we did a traverse of the Aiguille d'Entrèves, then over the Aiguille du Toule before returning to the hut. Here, Sally makes the last few moves to the summit of the Entrèves.


The view up towards the spires of Mont blanc du Tacul as we cross the Vallée Blanche on the way to the Entrèves.


Another climbs over the first step on the Entrèves. Here we are looking into Italy. In fact, the crest of the ridge on which we climb is the Franco-Italian border. No customs agents here!


After the Entrèves, we decided a bit of ice work would be in order, so we scooted up the NW face of the Aiguille du Toule, climbing some 3 or 4 ice pitches.


So it was off to Mont Blanc. This year, the unusual heat wave that gripped Europe for almost a month created so many problems with rockfall and crevasses, that Mont Blanc was much more difficult than normal. The Goûter route, normally the easiest on the peak was "closed" due to frequent boulders flying down the Grand Couloir on the approach to the hut. And the Traverse was made more challenging because of the crevasses on Mont Blanc du Tacul.

So our only safe choice was up the Traverse and down the same route, a big, hard day. But we managed just fine. The photo shows climbers crossing the the Brenva side of the Maudit shoulder. Actually it was taken on descent, but it seemed better not to start with a summit photo!


And here is the summit shot. Amazingly, we were alone on top, something that does not happen often on Mont Blanc, at least not on a day as clear as this.


Just as we were about to leave, another party arrives.


Back at the Cosmiques hut, the afternoon buildup becomes more serious. Looking SE towards the Dent du Géant.


After our success on Mont Blanc, we were off to the Zermatt area and the Matterhorn. Before we did the Matterhorn, however, we did a fine climb of the Breithorn Half Traverse. Unfortunately, Mark forgot to put a battery in his camera for that ascent and no photos were recorded. You'll simply have to take our word for it that we actually did the climb.

This is a shot of the Matterhorn as seen from the trail up tot he Hörnli hut.


The "train" moves up towards the Solvay hut at 4000 meters.


After a rather poor night's sleep, energy levels were low and we decided to call the Solvay our high point.


The view out towards Monte Rosa from the Solvay hut.

Back at the Hörnli hut, we have a quick drink before hiking down to Zermatt. The weather closed in as we descended, making for an exciting time for those still up on the peak.

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