Marie DeJournette, Matt Croy and Cathy Ann Taylor • August 2 - 4, 2009

Marie, Matt and Cathy Ann had just completed a successful Tour du Mont Blanc in support of Breast Cancer Prevention, and planned to add on an ascent of the mountain with Kathy and fellow U.S. guide Adam George.

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Our heros try to keep their hats on in a strong side-wind, high on Mont Blanc. From left to right are Marie, Cathy Ann, and Matt.


Adam, Cathy Ann and Matt recover their wits and breath after safely crossing the rockfall-prone Grand Couloir, and here they prepare to start the long scramble up the steep rocky terrain below the Gouter hut.


Conditions and weather were ... well you can see what they were! However Marie, characteristically, is still smiling.


The following morning dawned clear, but very cold and with a strong gusty wind that increased as we gained altitude. The fine, wind-blown snow knew how to find any crack in our defences and fill warm nooks and crannies with cold and wet.


Higher on the "Bosses" ridge, we hope the sun will add some warmth.


We pause between the "bosses" (camels' humps) to take stock of the wind and the prospects for summiting safely in this weather.


While several parties soldiered on, many more had already turned back. We decided to continue a bit further and see if the wind was any less bad than where we were.


In the end, the difficulty of keeping our footing, and the steep and exposed ground above, made us decide it was not safe enough for us to continue. After a few photos, we reluctantly turned back.


The Vallot emergency shelter provided a respite from the wind on the way up.


Matt, Cathy Ann and Adam retrace their steps above the Gouter hut


Nearing the hut, it's still a long way back to town. Mont Blanc will be right here waiting the next time our friends return.