Jim and Kathleen Soukup with Mark • September 5 - 9, 2018

Kathleen and Jim came back to the Alps for a third year in a row. This year the main goal was Mont Blanc. Though the weather forecast at first looked rather doubtful, it steadily improved as the climbing day approached. In the end it was arguably perfect.

Other Trips with Kathleen and Jim

Alps - July 2017
Alps - September 2016

Return to all recent trips


With 5 days to work with, we planned on an initial acclimatization ascent of the Gran Paradiso. And to juxtapose nicely with the cold of an early morning glacier ascent we went rock climbing the first half of our first day.


In the afternoon, we hiked up to the Refugio Chabod, on the Gran Paradiso.


Early the next morning, we were up and out the door. Here, after about an hour's walking, it is time to put on the crampons and rope.


The sun comes up on the main alpine ridge to the north. With bad weather forecast for later in the day, the peaks are already hidden in the mists.


Just after dawn a lenticular clouds form on all the major summits nearby. This one is Grivola.


Climbers in the mists.


But our summit "moment" was not without some great views.


Kathleen and Jim on the summit of the Gran Paradiso.


Other teams on the last few steps to the top.


As we pass by the Chabod hut on our way down, Kathleen enjoys a well-deserved treat.


On day 3, we are heading to Mont Blanc. With a leisurely start, we arrive at the Refuge Tête Rousse well in time for dinner.


The local denizens. Those who have been to the hut are well acquainted with this remarkably tame mascot.


More locals. enjoying the sunset.


With a 2am breakfast we are off to the summit.


Passing by the Vallot emergency hut not long after sunrise.


And, almost 7 hours after leaving the hut, we arrive on Mont Blanc's summit.


Time to descend.


Looking back at the Bosses ridge, on our way down.


Almost down to the level of the Gouter hut.


And passing by the Gouter. With a plan to descend all the way to Chamonix that evening, we had to hustle. But with gravity as our saviour, we even caught the 4 pm train at Nid d'Aigle.


With one remaining day of our original five, we opted for a sunny rock route with a short approach.

Here we are on Mani Puliti.


Always a wonderful backdrop when climbing in the Aiguilles Rouges.


On the "summit" of Mani Puliti.

Thanks Kathleen and Jim!

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