The Mont Blanc retreat

Groups had started rising early to make the best of the frozen ground. But there was no frozen ground.

After a leisurely French style breakfast, including bowls of coffee, we left at 7.15 to head up to the Grand Couloir crossing point, but in reality, we knew there was no hope. No safe hope at least. We watched a rapidly moving duo cross the couloir, and then started heading back to the Nid D’Aigle station we had arrived at a thousand meters lower.

The impending front along with its rain got to us about 10.30, and we got to the station just after 11. Station is a rather grand name for a gravel platform at the end of a short tunnel. The railway was originally planned to head all the way up to the top, but the project ran out of steam in the fifties. Probably just as well.

Instead of waiting cold and wet another hour, we walked down another 500 meters in height. First along the rail tracks, then through fog shrouded forest to the Bellevue station we had embarked from the day before. Real coffee and good, local food awaited us there. This gave us an opportunity to discuss the following day’s plans. This was to be plan C, and did not include the Mont Blanc summit unfortunately.

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