The Rupert Mann and Friends in the Alps • June 19 - 21, 2018

Rupert and Olivia Mann and their friends Matthew and Miranda Dorich came over to climb with Kathy this June, for an introduction to alpine mountaineering.

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The party (in all the best senses of the word) on our first morning, at the Torino hut. From left to right: Rupert, Olivia, Miranda, and Matthew.


The day started with a bit of trains, planes and automobiles. In actuality, a drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy, a téléphérique ride up to Point Helbronner, an elevator and this James Bond-ian tunnel to the Torino hut.


Our first order of business was to get acquainted with the use of crampons and travelling roped together on a glacier. We scampered to the top of the Petit Flambeau, for a picnic and a sneak preview of Gran Paradiso, in the far distance; our goal for the last day.


The view to the north, down the Mer de Glace.


Descending steep snow back to the glacier.


Next order of business, a wander about the glacier to get a close-up view of some of its "features" (i.e. crevasses), and enjoy the more far-off view of Mont Blanc.


Miranda admires the view.


Early the following morning we did a bit more practice before heading onward to the Gran Paradiso National Park. Here we pause to take in the sunshine before heading back to the top station of the "Skyway" cable car (in background).


Back at the Skyway station, we admire the modern design features.


AND the views!


After an hour or so of driving, and another hour or so of walking, we pause for a picnic lunch, complete with beautiful chilly fresh spring water.


A very fine spread from the local Italian supermarket!


Once arrived at the Chabod hut, the view is snowy, the weather promising.


A nice sunny evening for a friendly game of cards and an apéritif in the hut.


All too soon it's "oh-dark-thirty" and time to get the ball rolling. Suiting up outside the hut.


Within a short hour the twilight is upon us and we can turn off the headlamps.


Very nice, snowy conditions on the glacier.


The sun has risen on Mont Blanc, off in the distance.


At last we, too break out into the sunshine.


From here the summit is not far off.


However, so near and yet so far... up on the airy summit ridge, the usual traffic must be negotiated. It's a one lane road with no pullouts.


We patiently wait our turn for the green light.


What an amazing finale!


On the tippy top!


The documentation ...


And one more!


Then it's back down the airy scary ledges, and homeward bound.


Back at the hut after a couple of arduous hours punching through knee-deep mashed potato snow, we reward ourselves with a much needed lunch break.


A final protrait and bask in our accomplishment...


... and it's time for the long trek back to the cars, and to a hot shower and good meal in Chamonix. Thanks to Rupert, Olivia, Miranda and Matthew for your efforts, good humor, courage and perseverance! It was great climbing with you all!

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