Jim in and around Chamonix • August 27 - 31, 2012

Jim came over from te U.S. to check out the climbing in the Alps with Kathy. Mont Blanc was tentatively on the menu, but the weather gods dictated otherwise.


Return to all recent trips

Jim on the summit of the Aiguille du Tour, our first climb together.


On our first day, we did the long trek from the Col de Balme, up the Tour Glacier, over the Col Supérieure du Tour, and across the Trient Glacier to the Trient hut. These are our first views of the Tour Glacier and the Aiguille du Chardonnet from the trailside.

Late afternoon sunshine and the views from the comfy new addition of the Trient hut.

Preparations by headlamp-light, the pre-dawn start of a typical alpine climb.

By the time the sun was fully up, we were nearing the peak after a long glacier traverse. Jim admires the views of the peaks as far away as Zermatt. The Grand Combin in the background.

Jim high on the Aiguille du Tour.

A long return trip down the Tour Glacier, and it's back down the trail to the chairlift, and to town.

Given a very poor forecast for the coming days, we abandoned our original plan to do Mont Blanc, and instead opted for a day climb followed by two days on the Gran Paradiso, in Italy. For our day climb we headed up to the Crochues Traverse, in the Aiguilles Rouges. The views across the valley to the Mont Blanc massif are expansive, from start to finish. Looking up the Mer de Glace during our approach march.

This gives an idea of the nature of the climbing on this fun ridge scramble.

We ran into Eric, another guide friend of Jim's, and got a summit photo with him.

Leaving the summit after a good long rest.

Our return brought us past the popular hiker's destination, the Lac Blanc. The Aiguille du Tour appears on the far left background of this shot.

You can see why this is such a popular destination for day hikers. The Aiguille Verte and Les Drus in the background, looking close enough to touch.

Alas, the forecasters were right, and the next morning was very wet indeed. However the outlook was for improvement to the south, so we carried on with faith in the meteorologists, to the Chabod hut, in order to be in position for a climb of the Gran Paradiso the following day. Starting out our approach hike in full storm regalia...

A chamois sighting along the trail, one of the fun things about hiking in the Gran Paradiso National Park. He was wary, but not overly shy.

Foggy, but drier, as we near the hut.

By dinner time the skies were clearing. One of the hut staff sneaks away for a phone call from the only place you can get reception!

Sure enough, by the following morning the skies were clear and the temperatures very cold! As the sun rose, we got views of Mont Blanc (on the left), and the next storm clouds approaching from the north.

The next storm surge quickly engulfing the Mont Blanc massif, put a little more hustle in our steps.

Sure enough, by the time we reached the summit ridge the clouds were upon us.

But we made it! Jim on the summit of the Gran Paradiso.

The wind rose and the temperatures continued to drop as we descended back to the hut, and some good hot food!