Craig Coppola and Brad Lemon climb Mont Blanc • September 19 - 20, 2010

The "Arizona Boys", Craig and Brad, had just finished hiking both the Tour du Mont Blanc as well as the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, and simply couldn't head back home without also climbing Western Europe's highest summit. So, in the final days of the summer season, they joined both Kathy and Mark for a quick dash to the summit.

Fortunately for all, their target dates coincided with a couple days of flawless weather, rather lucky in what has been a less than stellar August and September.

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Our first day, hiking up the the Tete Rousse hut. Craig on the left and Brad on the right.


Our first view of the Tete Rousse hut, with the north face of the Aiguille de Bionnassay behind.


The welcoming interior of the hut.


At sunset, most of the hut's guests came out to watch the show.


The Bionnassay Glacier catches the low evening light.


the final moments of the day.


Colors reflected off the photovoltaic panels of the hut.


This view, taken the afternoon of our summit climb, shows the route up to the Gouter, hut, the first part of the ascent of Mont Blanc. For our ascent we climbed this entire section, as well as a good bit above in the cold darkness of night.

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At dawn the day of our climb, near the Vallot hut.Brad on the left, Mark messing around with something, and Craig on the right.


Kathy and Brad head for the Bosses Ridge and the final hour and a half of climbing.


Just after sunrise, looking down on the Aiguille de Tré la Tête to the southwest.


Arriving on the summit. Italy is under cloud to the right.


The summit photo. It was a bit chilly, but not at all bad for late September.


It is a long long way down to the train at Mont Lachat, 2733 meters to be exact, or almost 9000 feet. With the train schedule shortened for the late season, we had to really hustle to catch the last ride down at 16h50. But we made it, with enough time to spare to buy a nice cool drink.


Relaxing on the train, Kathy with her panaché and Craig his Coke.