Henry Tufnell and George Bossom on Mont Blanc • August 7 - 12, 2009

Henry and George came over to the Alps to climb Mont Blanc as part of a fund-raising project for a local charity. Kathy and friend/colleague Tim Connelly collaborated in support of their effort.

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Henry (on left) and George get ready for some ice training on the Mer de Glace.

 

But not before the inevitable initiation of... the ladders!!!

 

Taking a break while Kathy "gets the ropes up there".

 

A little friendly competition never hurts when working on crampon technique.

 

George dances up the steep stuff.... a keyboard error made this a more striking shot, so I decided not to correct it!

 

OK, how much is it worth it to you for me to lower you the last meter?

 

The following day on the Pointes Lachenal was such stinkin' weather that we didn't get much in the way of photos. George nears the bottom of a long abseil off the peak in sleet and rain.

 

By nightfall however the skies cleared to the west. This view is from the Cosmiques hut at sunset.

 

Next morning we were off early for a climb of Mont Blanc du Tacul.

 

A full moon over the hut sends us on our way.

 

Good snow conditions on a clear morning.

 

Looking back down toward the Aiguille du Midi from about half-way up the route.

 

A sérac band high on the route.

 

A tricky crevasse crossing but well-frozen snow makes it reasonable.

 

The cable car station makes the Aiguille du Midi look a bit like a lighthouse on a sea-stack from this height.

 

George checks out the slopes of Mont Blanc as the long shadows grow shorter.

 

We are approaching the summit rock structure of Mont Blanc du Tacul.

 

Tim strikes a heroic pose as he heads up the last steepness...

 

Hooray!

 

Arriving very early back at the hut, we decide we have time and inclination to climb the Arête des Cosmiques by way of returning to the cable car station. Not many pictures of this one, but George here tackles an awkward downclimbing section.

 

One last bit of preparation, a day at the crag! Not quite sure what Henry is pointing out here, pigeon poo on his shoe?

 

A great day for our start of the Mont Blanc climb. Here we head up toward the Gouter hut.

 

The next morning, the hurly-burly of leaving the Gouter hut is best managed by being out in front!

 

Oh no, they'r trying to catch us up! Headlights on the glacier looking spooky in the pitch blackness.

 

Henry is ready for action. Tim looks doubtful however...

 

We are high on the peak by the time the sun starts to hit the slopes.

 

The summit is within reach...

 

Et les voilá! Not bad for a first climbing trip!

 

Heading down again, the wind is predictably cold.

 

We hurry to get down to the sunshine warming the lower slopes.

 

We make good time back to the train, and a well-earned lunch in town. Congratulations, lads!