John White on the Gran Paradiso • July 28 - 30, 2018

John was back with Kathy in the Alps for the third time this summer. Having done a couple of tough glacier treks in past years, this time was geared toward a summit climb, the Gran Paradiso!

Other Trips with John

Berner Oberland trek 2014 Haute Route Glacier Trek 2013

Return to all recent trips


Our first day was inauspicious, with fog, rain, hail and some thunder and lightning! But the forecast was for great improvement over the next few days, so we carried on. We began with a bit of acclimatization to the altitude, in the environs of the Torino hut on Point Helbronner on the Italian side of the Vallée Blanche. John is singin' in the rain.


We did have several breaks of sunshine and/or views..


We are not the only ones undeterred..


The Torino hut in the rain.


The following day was indeed quite a lot better! Driving into Italy, we paused on our way to the Gran Paradiso National Park, to visit the castle at Introd. The main features of this building date from the 13th century; the first structure perhaps another hundred years older.


The entrance to the castle proper.


Part of the renovated interior.


This round tower room is a relatively new addition.


In the keep.


A view from the top of the tower.


This granary from the 15th century remains intact, including the original wood.


From there, it was on into the park. We stopped to (slightly) envy some gorge adventurers near the start of our walk.


The site of our picnic break about halfway up the climb to the Chabod hut.


Onward and upward, we break out into the alpine.


Arriving at the hut in time to have a good rest and relaxation before dinner.


The next morning the troops muster well before dawn.


On the trail by headlamp, always exciting.


The light comes up by the time we reach the glacier's edge.


Most of the way to the top now, it's been a long but beautiful walk up the glacier.


Near the top, we arrive just in time for the departure of hordes of climbers.


Amazingly, we have the summit all to ourselves! .


Starting back down again, the view back up to the top feels very satisfying.


Likewise from lower down on the glacier. The suncups are fierce this year! But a good track helps us out tremendously.


Down, down, down! This is just the beginning of a long descent back to the car, and Chamonix. Many thanks to John for a memorable climb!