We Landed in Paris and Walked to Switzerland
Of course, there were a few stops in between. After picking up our Mercedes Benz diesel Viansos at the airport, we may have circumnavigated the airport at least once in our attempts to find the A6 south… Once we found it (and after a quick stop in Font) we made our way to Chamonix. Whiteknuckle has a whole new meaning – whether caused by the habits of French drivers, or the fearless drivers having to listen to the repeated rounds of the Sesame Street hit, “C is for Cookie”…
We eventually found our gite in La Tour, at the top of the Chamonix-Mont Blanc Valley, met up with our guide Walter, and packed for an early start.
On Thursday, our other guide Geoffroy met us at the gite, and we took a gondola and a ski lift from La Tour. A 2.5 hour hike took us to our first hut – Albert Premier. We had lunch, and then practised some glacier travel skills. We ate an early dinner, then went to sleep in a room with lots of people. Earplugs helped.
We woke up at 5am, and headed out for Switzerland at 6am. A lot of new lessons were learned: crampons are sharp, bergschrunds can be difficult to cross, and helmets are important if you like your head.
After we arrived in Switzerland, a few of us (Phil, Ashleigh and Evan), decided to summit a mountain near the hut, called D’Orney.
The Triente hut was pretty awesome, particularly the composting toilet that works on a conveyor belt (we will let you figure it out), and the solar-powered everything. The food in both huts was great – nothing like having someone make you a three-course meal after a long day of climbing!
Today, we did some alpine sport climbing before heading all the way back to La Tour and our gite. After retreiving our clean clothes, we had hot showers and then sat on the deck relaxing before dinner. Dinner is about to be served, so adieu!
PS – pics will be coming in a week or so!