The superb weather and conditions continue out here in the alps. It’s turning into a great season now with just the occasional blip of bad weather followed by the sunshine again.

People are climbing all over now, and some of the major, high mountain rock routes are getting climbed too.

Training and acclimatisation for Mont Blanc – The Grand Paradiso

We’ve had a great six days with Canadians Jean, Claude and Sylvain on one of our Mont Blanc courses. A good mix of training, practice and acclimatisation. It’s a tricky balance sometimes, and it’s easy to over do it on the first few days which is then counter productive for Mont Blanc itself. It’s impossible to get fitter in the three days before the summit, but you can get acclimatised.

We headed to the Grand Paradiso which at 4061m is a pretty good test for Mont Blanc itself. We made a traverse of the Mountain, staying first at the Chabod refuge and then the Emmanuele before heading back to Chamonix for a restful afternoon on the third day.

Full moon on the Gouter route – Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc itself was in great condition, and we were lucky to get our ascent done just before the weather deteriorated at the end of the week. We had a good combination of huts booked, staying at the Tete Rousse followed by the Gouter refuge on the descent. This meant we could cross the grand couloir in the cool of the mornings, thus avoiding the worst of any potential rock fall.

The boys did pretty well, and certainly found their limits. Both Jean and Sylvain went all the way and Claude got very close, turning around sensibly at the Vallot refuge and heading to the top of the Dome du Gouter instead.

High summer season and busy on the Grand Paradiso - perfect weather

High summer season and busy on the Grand Paradiso – perfect weather

Waiting for our turn on the Grand Paradiso

Waiting for our turn on the Grand Paradiso

Descending towards the Emmanuele on the Grand Paradiso

Descending towards the Emmanuele on the Grand Paradiso

The Tete Rousse refuge. We had the four am breakfast.

The Tete Rousse refuge. We had the four am breakfast.

The boys and Gavin near the Dome du Gouter.

The boys and Gavin near the Dome du Gouter.

Sun bathing at 4300m.

Sun bathing at 4300m.

Summit success

Summit success

On our way down, looking back up at the Vallot refuge and summit

On our way down, looking back up at the Vallot refuge and summit