3 countries in a week

~ Saturday 13th September 2014

It's been a busy week. 3 countries, 3 huts, 3 peaks.

Switzerland, France and Italy were the countries (no surprise there)

We stayed in the Vélan hut for Mont Vélan. Only 6 of us there, and as the other 3 had gone up to celebrate the guardian's birthday we had the peak to ourselves. It's still in great condition - the normal route can suffer late season in dry summers. The scramble through the Col de la Gouille and the 1100m ascent make it a very good Mont Blanc preparation peak.

Descending from Mont Vélan

Next, we had a "rest day" up the Aiguille du Midi. A quick ascent of Pointe Lachenal and some quality acclimatising time drinking coffee at 3800m!

Off to Tete Rousse next, which as usual was an unforgettable "experience".

In the dark all couloirs are grey

Pleased to have survived a night at Tete Rousse

Turning back early due to the cold and high winds, we drove south for our third country. It's always a pleasure to visit the Chabod hut. The Gran Paradiso didn't disappoint either. Great conditions, fine views - and the usual summit frenzy confirming all the Italian/French queuing stereotypes. I guess Madonna is used to the crowds.

When you gaze into the crevasse...

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