Norm & Karen Numerof mountaineering in France • July 12 - 16, 2005

Norm Numerof, from Vail CO was back to climb with Kathy, and this time his wife, Karen joined them for some of the fun.

Other Recent Trips

Norm had climbed with Kathy 2 years ago, during the record-breaking hot summer. His wife, Karen, is an experienced outdoorswoman. Though new to alpine climbing, in light of Norm's enthusiasm for the high peaks, she decided to check it out for herself.

Our first day was a big one, beginning with the "Petite Aiguille Verte". We chose to do a steep snow/ice variation on the north face. Norm and Karen here climbing efficiently together.

On summit #1 at a good hour! However the day was yet young. We had planned to hike to the Albert Premier hut in the afternoon, so after a brief pause for photos, we were off down the hill as fast as we could go.

We made it to the hut in time for dinner (though we did get a bit soaked by the afternoon showers). The next morning we were up at dawn for a climb of the "Table Couloir" on the Tour Ronde. Norm moved into the lead for the final pitches up the couloir, and Karen followed with vim, verve and panache.

Another party on the nearby "Rock Table Spur" provide our entertainment at the belay stances.

Our time on the summit was brief, as thick clouds and a forecast of possible afternoon thunderstorms helped to focus our minds on descent.

The storms never materialized, but the cloudscape was spectacular as we made our way back to the hut for dinner.


The slushy snow made us tired, and very ready for a cold beer. Tea and cake, too! If you can't eat anything you want in the mountains, when can you?

The following day, after descending to town, Norm and Kathy headed up again for an afternoon ascent of the Aiguille de l'Index. Norm is making easy work of it, here.

An example of the steep but easy climbing on the upper part of the route; a party of five here works together to get parents, kids and friends up and down safely.

Squeaking past the others, we had an open road for the steep, long rappel off the back side of the climb.

Our next objective was a spur-of-the-moment change in plans. Plan A was a repeat of the steep couloir Kathy had done a few days previous with Ken Seamon, but the weather being very hot—fear of rockfall in the couloir—and their arrival at the Aiguille du Midi quite early, Kathy and Norm opted for plan B; to "sprint" for the Midi-Plan Traverse.


The day certainly was beautiful. Norm here enjoying the view during one of the very few, brief rests we allowed ourselves.


Another climber near the summit of the Aiguille du Plan; the loooooong, long return trip visible in the background.


To make a long story short, we didn't quite manage to return to town that night! This photo was taken the following morning, as we boarded the telepherique on our return to town. The clouds indicate very high winds; we were glad to have had our more pleasant weather of the day before.

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