Then, we began our gentle traverse below Mont Maudit towards Col de la Breneva. The sun started to come up slowly. It was such a beautiful scenery. At that time of the day, the cold is so 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 again 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.
The common mistake that most climbers do is they go very quick in those big mountains without enough preparation. The secret on this is to go slow and steady. This keeps the heart beat low and the body gets acclimatized to altitude much better. I learned this in my first high altitude climb. I remembered our guide asking us to breath out heavily and synchronize our steps with this. So automatically we had to go slowly and to breath in deep. Since then I am applying this technique when climbing.
The last 100 m before the Mont Blanc summit, we were able to see the caravans of climbers heading towards the summit on the normal route. We were so glad that 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, but we managed to overcome it.
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 was 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. Fortunately, we didn’t experience any of this and we went down safely, reaching the train station Nid d’Aigle around 2:00 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 going Belvedere and from there, we took the cable car until Les Houches. A shuttle bus took us to the parking of Chamonix Sud, where we left our car.
What a marvelous experience! I was very grateful that everything went right. So proud of myself I conquered it!
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