John Price in Chamonix • August 14 and 15, 2014

A couple of years ago, John Price came from his home in Western Australia, along with his wife, to Chamonix for a holiday. From the Aiguille du Midi he looked out across the Géant glacier and thought he would love to experience being out there in the ice and snow of a big glacier. This two days with Kathy was his fulfillment of that intention.

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On our first day, we tromped around on the famous Mer de Glace. However, the first task (a big one), get down those hundreds of feet of steep ladders to the ice! John showing his "game face".


Once under way, it was of course a piece of cake. Plenty of company all with the same plan in mind.


The change in perspective as we draw closer to the ice.


At last we are on the ice itself. A luminous plain under our feet.


The view up toward the Grandes Jorasses, looking wintry in a fresh heavy dusting of snow. Although it was cloudy all around us, the sun lingered here in this little spot.


Wandering at our leisure, we found a little wall to practice some steep ice climbing techniques.


John got the hang of it very quickly, and showed some good footwork too.


Even higher!


Eventually it was time to get back up those pesky ladders in time for a late afternoon train back to town.


But first, a little celebration is in order.


The following day, the forecasters backed off on their optimistic view, and it was quite rainy in Chamonix. We headed through the tunnel hoping for better conditions on the Italian side. It was ... a bit better! still raining, but only lightly. We headed up to Point Helbronner in hopes of sun breaks.


The area around the top station is a true construction site these days, as the new lift is in its last stages of construction. The jungles of wires looked intriguing in the fog and new snow.


As we began our glacier walk, we did begin to see the first glimpses of the sun breaks we were hoping for. Still snowing, but the Dent du Géant and the Aiguilles Marbrées make a tantalizing appearance.


We headed over to the Col de la Toule, to see what we could see.


The other side of the mountain, the other side of the mountain.... was all that we could see.


For our next destination we headed over to the Petit Flambeau, to take in a summit. John pulls up over the top of a short steep snow wall.


We had a proper sunny break on the top!


A couple of other climbers with the same idea, approaching through the mists.


And another pair disappearing over toward the Col de la Toule.


The sun was out for real as we headed back to the cable car. The Dent du Géant looking very wintry now.


A happy send-off for John, who is off to join his wife in Spain. Au revoir, John! Thanks for your good spirits and great company!

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