A Cosmique delight

An early awakening at 5.30 for a 6am breakfast and a 7am start to the Aiguille du Midi gondola in order to head for the top, along with several dozen other likeminded souls. Yes, I was there only a few days ago, but this was to be different.

We were wearing our climbing boots, and had our climbing gear with us. We managed to head up on the second gondola of the day. They were still clearing the ice from some of the walkways when we arrived a good sign. We donned our crampons as quick as we could, the harnesses were put on Chamonix while we were waiting for the gondola.

As the weather was good, and crowds of climbers were expected, we were trying to get in front of the queue to avoid being impacted by a Hillary Step moment. Look it up. Not recommended. The route we were heading for was the Cosmique Ridge, not something to be taken lightly as it features sensational exposure, read cliffs, potential falls and death. A climber’s delight, rated at 4a with a 4c crux, and would normally take between 3 to 6 hours by the tie you are back in the Aiguille du Midi complex.

We scrambled across the barrier that keeps the tourists from plummeting to an untimely death, roped up and carried on to rewards of great views, new firm and semi crusty snows. We got to the base of the climb in good time due to the good conditions. We kept the pace up with Christian in front, Stefanie in the middle, then myself. Unless we reversed the order.

Clambering up between and on the shards of granite, a couple of abseils and a few photos later we emerged at the top of the spire and at the base of the buildings at Aiguille du Midi. A final clamber up the ladder had us complete the climb on the observation platform, except it was us being observed by curious tourists. Noting like watching a bunch of smelly climbers high fiving and hugging.

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