In the dry summer of 2003 I took another trip to Mt Blanc with American climber Mike and Dutch climber and friend Ron. It had been so dry and warm during the hot summer that many glaciers and snowfields had melted. The normal route up Mt Blanc was closed as the heat had loosened the otherwise frozen rocks and they were tumbling down the couloir you need to cross on that route, already having killed one climber.
So we opted for another, much more beautiful route. Climbing all the way from the 1000m high valley, we did the grand traverse: first up to the Domes de Miage, then climbing all 5 Domes. Aiguille de Bionassay and over Mt Blanc’s summit, down to the Aiguille du Midi, where we took the cablecar down. This meant going almost 4000m up to the 4810m high summit, which is one of the highest elevation differences in the world, similar to Kilimanjaro.
Until we got to Mt Blanc we hardly saw anybody for days, if you just do not take the normal routes, the Alps are still wild and pristine and can compete with teh world’s giant mountains with regards to adventure and beauty.
On this image we are at the last 2 ‘Domes’, Mt Blanc itself is still hidden in the strange clouds, Mike and Ron can be seen on the ridge. It is never comfortable to bring a SLR camera, but I never regretted it afterwards.
Scanned from Provia ISO 100 slide, shot with Eos3.