Wim, Ive, Kristof and Raf in Mont Blanc Massif and Gran Paradiso • August 7 - 11, 2010

Our Belgian Buddies were back climbing with us this summer. This time the line-up was Ive De Kerf, Wim Desmedt, Kristof Mommaert, and Raphaël Boudart. All were in the Chamonix valley for an extended stay with their families, who kindly lent them to us for a few days of climbing.

Other trips with some of these folks

Alps, July 2009
Alps, August 2008

Return to all recent trips

From left to right relaxing outside the Albert Premier hut are Ive, Kristof, Kathy, Wim and Raf.


Our first day dawned clear and promised to be hot! We began by hiking up to the Aiguillette d'Argentière for a bit of rock climbing before heading to our hut for the night. This little playground has fantastic views across to the Mont Blanc massif on a clear day like this.


The Aiguillette seems to tower above the village of Le Tour. Kathy, Wim and Ive prepare their descent from the tiny summit.


A steep rappel off the top added to the excitement.


Then we hit the trail to the Albert Premier hut in the afternoon. Recent snowfalls made the Aiguille de Chardonnet look particularly pristine in the background.


Wim and Ive approach the moraine.


The last bit of steep moraine up to the hut could be tedious but for the nearby views of ice towers on the glacier.


And the occasional splash of color.


From the hut, the sunset casts a glow on the snow and ice of the glacier.


The next morning we are out before dawn for our climb of the Aiguille du Tour.


The day that dawned was cloudy, but clear enough for us to go ahead with our plans.


Approaching the Col Supérieure du Tour, the weather seems to be holding off.


But by the time we got onto the summit rocks, visibility had reduced to very little.


Raf and Ive enjoy getting to the top nevertheless.


We had to check out a particularly impressive crevasse along the way.


With such a thick and strong snow bridge, there is very little sign on the surface of what lies below!


Next on our agenda was the Gran Paradiso, seen here from near the Chabod hut.


The Chabod hut just before dinner time as the sun sets.


Dinner preparations are under way in the kitchen.


Another pre-dawn start for our climb the next morning.


About an hour's walking brings us to the edge of the glacier where we pause to put on crampons and rope up.


The daylight comes up as we reach the snow.


Wim pauses to look at the crevasses we thread among.


Waiting our turn to clamber up this very popular summit!


Ive and Kristof try to stay warm while waiting their turn...


Finally, Ive and Mark made a quick ascent of Mont Blanc du Tacul on the last day of their visit. They got an early start to catch the first téléphérique to the Aiguille du Midi.


Heading down the ridge from the top station, the weather was threatening and cold but rather pretty.


There was plenty of activity on the mountain this morning.


A large crevasse yawns bridge-less across most of the face, cutting off passage entirely, were it not for this ladder placed by accommodating local guides.


Ive and Mark on the summit as the weather once again closes off the views!


Heading back down to re-join friends and family in the valley. We hope to see them back again next year!