Return to France and Chamonix

A good night’s sleep. No really, I slept all the way till 4.30 in the morning when the first group of climbers left clompingly. I slept through the next few mobs until it was time for us to grab breakfast of the usual European type. Bread, cheese, salami, jam etc. But I so needed coffee.

After once again packing all my gear, putting on the helmet, harness and crampons, we headed off back to the Punta Indren cable car station. That was over an hours walk away over the glaciers and about 400 meters lower. In that time the snow had turned from firm and icy to patches of slush. We did stop to strip off wind proofs and crampons, as well as unroping once we got past the steeper sections.

Apart from seeing some juvenile ibex at one of the cable car changes, it was an uneventful trip back to the valley, and the soon to be fulfilled promise of good coffee. 10am and a great Italian/French combination of cappuccino and croissant was indulged in.

A change into lighter and less smelly clothes made for a more pleasant drive back to Chamonix. Mont Blanc was coyly hiding itself behind a lenticular cloud. This can be a sign of incoming moister air preceding a front. We’ll see.

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