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France-Mont Blanc

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I had tried twice before to climb Mont Blanc – with Scharlie in 1994 and with my Italian friend Dimitri in 1996.  This time I didn’t want to fail again and had asked my friend Roger Mear, a distinguished climber and expeditioner and professional mountain guide, to “guide” me up the mountain.  The plan was to spend a few days climbing with Scharlie to get fit and acclimatise before joining Roger.  Cathy, Scharlie’s friend from Cambridge who ran the Cambridge Festival, decided she’d join us and accompany Scharlie on part of the Tour de Mont Blanc while Roger and Steve were climbing.

Despite rain and mist, and Scharlie’s boots giving out on our way to do a route on the Aiguille du Peigne, we managed a couple of good training routes.  Steve and Roger had a good day on a training route on Mont Blanc du Tacul before attempting Mont Blanc via Mont Maudit. Unfortunately we were beaten back by bad weather.  Rather than repeat the same route Roger decided we could reach Mont Blanc via the blunt snow ridge of the Dômes de Miage.  Unlike other standard ways, we had this route to ourselves, which was delightful.

Meanwhile, Scharlie and Cathy three legs of the Tour de Mont Blanc from Les Contamines to Courmayeur.

The journal also include photos from Steve’s previous climbing trip to Chamonix with a party of Italian climbers in 1996.

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