Todd and Jen Bausch, Mönch and Mont Blanc • August 2 - 7, 2014

Todd and Jen first met us in 1995, when we were visiting guides in North Conway, NH, working for the International Mountain Climbing School. We climbed Mt. Washington together one cold and wintry day. A year later, Todd climbed Aconcagua with us. Though they have both had many adventures in the mountains since then, this was the first time we had seen them since Aconcagua. They came out to climb in the Alps with Kathy.

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Todd and Jen high on the Mönch.


As is the pattern this season, the forecast was not brilliant for the start of our climbing trip together. But the evening before our first climb, there was some reason to hope for a "sucker hole" big enough to climb the Mönch in the next day.


Our night at the Mönchsjoch hut happened to be the Swiss national holiday! We enjoyed fireworks (no photos, sorry!) and a special dessert.


The following morning was indeed good enough for climbing. The steep snow just below the summit ridge here.


It was wintry, no doubt about it. But do-able.


Not much in the way of views on the summit!


From Switzerland we returned to Chamonix, for our attempt on Mont Blanc. Starting out by headlamp in the wee hours, from the Tête Rousse hut.


We took a short rest in the infamous boot-room of the Gouter hut, about 3 hours into our climb.


Leaving the space-aged hut behind, it's almost time to turn off the headlamps.


It's a beautiful sunrise for our summit morning.


Partway up the Dôme du Gouter.


Still fresh, and ready for a few more hours of climbing.


Once over the Dôme, we can see our goal. It still looks a long way off.


Starting up the steep steps of the "Bosses" ridge, as the first summiteers come down.


It's starting to look within reach now.


And we made it!


We could not have asked for better visibility. Extremely lucky given this funny season.


Other climbers heading down the "Trois Monts" route.


Back at the Gouter hut, the skies are less clear.


The next morning we left the hut after breakfast for an early morning descent of the Gouter ridge. Nice to get it done in the cool hours.


Everything going smoothly, we'll be home in time for lunch. I hope to see Todd and Jen again, sooner this time!

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