Jack Santo and Friends in Chamonix • August 25 and 27, 2014

Jack Santo organized a group of friends to come to Chamonix this year, for a week of various adventures, including climbing, via ferrata-ing, and general fun. Kathy and Mark were both happy to be part of the mix!

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Alps, September 2010

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Our first day, we spent with Jack, Gina, and Rob (right to left) in the Aiguilles Rouges, climbing a rock route called Mani Puliti. Our weather was not ideal, quite wintry in fact! But we achieved our objective and had a good time all the same.


On pitch 4, it settled in to snowing on us! But it was light and intermittent enough that we were able to carry on despite it. Mark bundled up at the belay.


Where's Waldo? Jack nears the top of pitch 5.


On our second day out with the group, we were joined by Rob (far left) and Mel (next to him) for a wander across the Vallée Blanche. We drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel to begin and end on the Italian side.


Gusty winds, altered lift schedules, and not least, hard frozen snow conditions ruled out the Aiguille du Midi as either start or end point. Instead, we did a loop taking us through the broken crevassed area in the center of this photo, and up into the glacier bay to the left toward Mont Blanc (the distant dome in the left background).


Along the way we passed through very impressive high-glacier terrain.


A good track and firm snow conditions helped us get up close and personal with the "features" of the glacier.


The Dent du Géant in the background. Our departure point on the far right of this photo shows us how far we've come.


Gorgeous views of Mont Blanc from this high glacier cul-de-sac.


We are almost back to our starting point, when we take a detour to a nearby summit, the Petit Flambeau.


Some steep snow, some easy rock boulders to negotiate...


And we are on the summit! Photos are of course in order.


Perfect conditions for a perfect shot.


The view down the Mer de Glace from our perch.


We head back down some steep snow...


And reach the relative safety of the glacier again.


Back at the bottom, we can't leave Italy without the obligatory coffee stop. Thanks to Jack and all his crew, we hope to meet in the mountains again one day.

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