Then we began our gentle traverse below Mont Maudit towards Col de la Breneva. The sun started to come up slowly. At that time of the day, the cold is extreme. So we added more layers and we continued climbing the steep Mur de la Côte. On the last 400 m towards the summit we met the two climbers who left much earlier. They were taking a break and not really looking good. The two other climbers from the refuge were far behind us and we could see, that they were struggling with high altitude.
That’s the mistake, that most climbers do, go very quick in those big mountains. The secret is to go slow and steady. This keeps the heart beat low and the body get acclimatized to altitude much better.
The last 100 m before the summit we were able to see the caravans of climbers heading towards the summit on the normal route. We were so glad; we took this route and enjoyed this lonely great climb.
We reached the summit around 7:30 am. It took us less than 6 hours. The wind was very strong.
We took few photos and videos and started our descent via the normal route. The last one doesn’t need any technical skills. But it requires descending narrow ridges towards the shoulder of Dôme du Goûter 4200m.
This route is just very long. We were more worried about the scrambling part called Grand Couloir on the Aiguille du Goûter. At 3,340 m altitude this gully has to be scrambled. This area is a well-known accident black spot in dry conditions because of rockfall. Luckily, we didn’t experience any of this and we went down safely, reaching the train station Nid d’Aigle around 2 pm. We just missed the train, that scrolled in front of us in the tunnel. The next train was in one hour. We used this time to relax, enjoy the view and reflect about our great day so far!
We descended by train until Belvedere and from there we took the cable car until Les Houches. A shuttle bus took us to the parking of Chamonix Sud, in which we left our car.
What a marvelous experience!