No Mont Blanc and no Matterhorn
In 2010, I (Per Jerberyd), Kenth Rehn and Tomas Ericsson headed for the Alps. Kenth and I were supposed to acclimatize on Mont Blanc before heading for Matterhorn. Tomas would climb Breithorn on his own to get used to altitude… Nothing went as planned when 80cm of fresh snow fell during 24 hours… Failure again.
This was originally published on my old blogspot blog. Start reading from the bottom to get the chronological order.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Our day was spent doing some ice climbing on Mer de Glace. We had really good weather! I managed to take this panorama photo showing both The Dru and Grand Jorasses. Really nice view!
Kenth is dubbed todays hero as he took two baths in a big glacier well. Thereafter he did some nude ice-climbing 😉 maybe the next thing in extreme sports…
Tomorrow we’re leaving Chamonix and travel to Milan. We have to spend two tourist days there before heading home to sweden. Cham is crowded and all hotels full due to the UTMB race.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
08:30 a,m. and I’m still awake. I feel dizzy and bit sick. What now? Have i catched a cold or something?
Sleepless in Cham
Time: 03:16 a.m.
It’s hot in our new apartment’ The time is over three in the morning and I cannot sleep because of the heat… I’m tired…
The photo is from one of the closest climbing cliffs here. We had a walk yersterday evening when I took this picture.
Think I’m going ro take a morning hike down town now to get some fresh air!
I’m Back down in Chamonix and I am disapointed!
I got disapointed yesterday when I was standing outside the Vallot shelter, looking at the summit ridge of Mont Blanc, knowing that I had no time to get to the summit and back to Chamonix the same day. It was just pure bad luck that we had to leave our rented apartment and move to another just that next morning. I felt strong and it should not have been any problem to reach the summit.
How did we get into this crap situation? Well, again the trainstation at Nid’d Agile was closed and since we had no bivvy equipment it was a long, long way in a single push up the mountain. After the Gouter hut we slowed down and all other rope teams passed us! Some hours after sunrise Kenth and Tomas aborted at around 4000m while I continued. I managed to increased the phase but was a long way behind everyone else. When I reached the Vallot shelter I knew it was late if we would have a chance to catch the last tramway back down. The summit ride was crowded, and a guy that I met who had climbed Mont Blanc many times estimated the time from Vallot and back to five hours. It was then I got very disapointed! I wouldn’t make it in time…
Kenth and Tomas was waiting for me in the Gouter hut. We descended together, passing Grand Colouir, running over without incidents. When we finally was closing in to the Tramway, it left in front of our noses. This was the last train for the day… Now we had to walk down. When we finally reached Chamonix, we had been on the go for more than 30 hours and all of us were tired.
I still feel like the summit was stolen from me. When will I make it?…
We don’t know what to do next. Anoter try of Mont Blanc? Perhaps but not likely. We stil have some days left in the Alps but bad weather is expected tomorrow.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Later this night, Tomas is joining us in Chamonix. Our new plan is to try to climb Mont Blanc during saturday – sunday. Tomas will come along as faar as he can to get acclimatzed.
Since we have to skip our original Matterhorn plans, we’ll stay some extra days here in Cham. The bad thing is that the UTMB, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc race is held here next weekend, so all hotels and apartments are fully booked. As it seem now, we’ll have to move to another place on the 26:th. Perhaps Zermatt or Cervinia…
The photo show our apartment above the pizzeria.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Mont Blanc in bad condotions
Two days ago, Kenth and I decided to give Mont Blanc a shot toghether with a Swedish couple we had met earlier in Chamonix.
Our plan was simple. Climb Mount Blanc through the Gouter route in a single push.
What didn’t look good was that I was feeling ill already the day before our attempt and even worse, the weather forecast promised winds up to 80 km/h but no rain or snow. Also we had heard that the route had more than 50cm of fresh snow. Sadly we knew our chance of success where slim already before leaving Chamonix.
At 10:00 am we met Robban and Therese at the railway station in Cham. From there we travelled to Le Fayet where we fetched the TMB tramway. Normally this tramway has it’s normal end destination at Nid’d Agile where people start their hike towards the Gouter route on Mont Blanc. Now the final destination was Mt Lachat so we had to hike upwards, following the tramway rails for several extra kilometers before reaching Nid’d Agile. Because of this, we got a later start aswell as it costed us extra body energy.
The first part of the ascent is hiking to a big hut below the Grand Coloir called Tete Rousse. We had hoped to buy dinner here, but it was delayed for sevral hours. This forced us to cross the notorious Grand Coloir in darkness. I led us over, it wasn’t fun when a small stone smashed into my helmet. I had felt week all day. Almost like having fever. I stayed in the front all way up to the Gouter hut, making too slow progress due to my illness. When we reached the cabin I had already decided that this was enough for me. I would stay here. Also Kenth felt bad, he even vomited after having some water.
Robban and Therese felt rady to have a go for the summit even though they knew it would be nearly impossible due to windspeeds up to 80 km/h. They made two shorter attempts. During the second they reached 4100 meters until the wind proved too strong.
Around 8:30 am, Kenth and I started to decend in poor weather and high winds. We heard a major rockfall in Grand Coloir. Later we learned that someone had been hit. Our crossing also prooved dangerous. The temperature was above zero and it was raining… Just seconds after my crossing, a large rock tumbeled down. Kenth got over without accidents. Also the rocks where you stand after the crossing are poor. About 10 meters away a large piece of rock fell over the trail. It was just luck it didn’t hit anyone since there were people just seconds away…
Now we’re safely down in Chamonix. Tomorrow night Tomas will arrive and we plan for combined acclimatization trip up to Gouter for Tomas and a second summit attempt for Kenth and me during saturday-sunday.
The Liongrat/Matterhorn dream is already over for Tomas and me. Matterhorn is covered in snow and more is expected during next week. We have no real plan what to do instead.
The photo above of Mont Blanc was taken from the railway station in Chamonix prior leaving. Half an hour later, the mountains where hidden in black clouds…
Monday, August 16, 2010
Nice weather forecast ;( Probably we’ll have a go on Mont Blanc tomorrow.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Grounded in Cham
Changed plans… Due to the bad weather, the lift to Aiguille du Midi was closed today. We vad hoped to get up to the Midi Plateu in the late afternoon to put up an open bivvy and use it as our starting point to climb Tacul. This would have completed our acclimatizion to the altitude of Mont Blanc.
Now we hope that the lift will be open tomorrow so we can get up very early to the Midi Plateu. We’re not sure that we’re going to attemt climbing Tacul. It has snowed more than 50 centemeters and the Tacul face where the normal route zigzagges up throgh is known to be avalanche prone after heavy snowfall. We’ll decide what to to when we’re up there…
Saturday, August 14, 2010
We’re at 3842m at the Aiguille du Midi station. We took the telegaphique up with the rest of the tourist crowd this morning. The idea is to just stay here and get some aclimatizion to the altitude.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Kenth and I arrived in Chamonix today. First of all, Kenth bought a pair of new mountaineering boots (Baturas). His old Scarpas has needed retirement for a long time now.
The photo is taken from our apartment in Central Cham. To the left of Kent is the lift system leading up to Aiguille du Midi.