Mont Blanc was my first unguided climb. After trekking in Nepal, climbing Island peak, 6189m and finishing advanced mountaineering training, I felt ready for my next challenge of going up the mountain unguided.
After studying the route and preparing well, I took several of my friends and we set for the trip. It was fun climb with great company.
We reached Gouter hut, 3800m with little challenges. It got windy just before getting to the hut, but was great weather for most of the day.
Two of our friends had to go down for the night, not having a place at Gouter. We received a text from them saying the storm caught them on the way down and they will not be ascending next morning.
We went ahead with accent plan starting at 2am and woke up to the storm. The strongest teams went up first and returned within half an hour. The same happen at 6am.
At 9 am, one courageous French woman decided she will go up no matter what. It is daylight increasing chances of accent when visibility is poor. Plenty of teams followed her lead and so did we.
We went up and the wind was blowing so strongly, we needed to sit tight close to the ridge for the strong flows of air to pass. Once we reached plateau, it became easier, although pieces of ice continuously hit us and became bigger as we got higher.
We walked till around 4400m and turned back as the winds were blowing us of the feet and ice started to hit us in quite large chunks. All teams returned back with no success of ascending the mountain that day.
We had two accent days and both days the weather remained vicious. We went down, putting Mont Blanc ascent on a list for the next year to climb…