Zack and Dirk in France and Italy • August 2 - 4, 2018

Zack returned to Chamonix for the third time with Kathy this year, along with friend Dirk. Our goal for the three days, prepare for, and climb, the Gran Paradiso!

Other Trips with Zack

Learning the Ropes in Chamonix 2014

Back for more in 2015

Return to all recent trips


Day One, on top of Point Helbronner with Mont Blanc behind.


We took a wander around the Géant glacier, checking out the "features" up close and personal. Our main goal being to acclimatize and review skills and equipment in preparation for the 4100m climb of the Gran Paradiso.


It's been a hot and dry summer, and the crevasses are opening up and bridges getting rather exciting!.


We did take in a summit as well, the Flambeau—Petit, that is, but let's not focus on that; it looks pretty grand in this shot!.


The next day we headed into the Gran Paradiso National Park. Due to foot injuries, Dirk left us to continue without him. Kathy and Zack took the time en route, to visit the lovely little castle at Introd. This is a recent discovery of Kathy's, and well worth a couple of visits. Here, the original tower forming the core of the castle, and dating from the 13th century. The original entrance was the high doorway with the two holes in the wall below it, which formed the support for a retractable ladder. It being a defensive keep, and all.


The surrounding buildings were added later. Restoration of the wall paintings is under way.


Hmmm... ever get the feeling you're being watched? The "trophy room". And no, that Impala is not native to the region!


Zack enjoying the remarkable view over the Aosta valley from the top of the high tower.


Onward and upward, we hike the trail to the Chabod hut.


At the hut, storm clouds gathering toward the evening.


Clouds parting for a dramatic sunset.


Off to the mines early the next morning.


Setting foot on the glacier, we are just ready to turn off the headlamps.


A bit later, a bit higher, the views open up northward to Mont Blanc (center of photo).


The usual traffic jam for the summit, but our timing was good and our wait time blessedly short.


It's our turn on the airy traverse!


And Zack gets his visitation time with Our Lady of the Gran Paradiso.


Things get a bit busier as we ready to leave the summit.


And it's time for us to beat a hasty retreat.


Ciao for now, Gran Paradiso!


Beautiful sunshine for our descent.


Our path leads town the lesser traveled path back to the Chabod hut, while most parties headed down to the Vittorio Emanuele hut.


One last glance back toward the scene of our triumph...


... then it's homeward bound once more.


Back to the land of lushness and foliage. A great three days, thanks again to Zack! Hoping to see more of both him and Dirk again soon.