The Marks Mère et Fils on Mont Blanc • August 11 - 16, 2016

Debbie and Andrew Marks, mère ete fils, joined Kathy for a Mont Blanc ascent, preceded by the Gran Paradiso and other fun and games to acclimate and prepare.


On the trail to the Gran Paradiso.


Our first objective was this little gem, the "Vierge" tower on the Petit Flambeau, on the Italian side of the Vallée Blanche.


Easy but airy, it's a good place to get your legs warmed up and your head used to the exposure.


And the ambience isn't bad either!


The summit is prettttt--y tiny!


So we took turns tagging it.


Topping out on the Petit Flambeau with the Dent du Géant in the background.


Day two, heading up to the Chabod hut, we get our first good view of the summit of the Gran Paradiso, our objective for the following day.


Early the next morning, we already find ourselves skirting exciting glacier featuers.


We have perfect weather and conditions for our climbing day!


The usual traffic on the summit block, but good communication and a little give and take keep things moving smoothly.


Our turn on the top!


Heading back down again, it's a busy morning!


A beautiful glacier climb.


It's August in the Alps, and OK, this part of the day wasn't so fun! Traffic backed up to enter the Mont Blanc tunnel. But it's almost our turn!!! We'll be home in time for dinner.


Day four: en route to the Tête Rousse hut, we see plenty of these beautiful animals just hanging out.


Another great meal and beautiful sunset at the Tête Rousse hut.


And day five, our summit day, finds us once again high on the Gouter ridge by daybreak.


Higher still, on the Bosses Ridge, the top looks tantalizingly close. But we are not fooled by appearances.


Climbing party on the second "bosse".


The summit is in sight! And now we really ARE close!


And it's done! Wow.


We descended to the oh, so spectacular Gouter hut for the night.


In the boot room of the hut, a little nostalgia for those who know it...


The next morning dawned gorgeous, calm and clear for our last day, and descent back to town.


Boarding the train at Nid d'Aigle: oh, did I mention it's August in the Alps?


All aboard, and it's time to head home. Thank you to Andrew and Debbie for a great week!

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