Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trip report: Time for a review on summer

Summer went by too fast, my last post is almost 2 months old. Worst thing is, I did not even have the time to take my new MYOG stove in to the wild, which was the subject of my last post. I did however took my time for a few trips:

1. Walk of the world

2. Karwendel Mountains

3. Lago Iseo and the Bergamo Alps

4. Chamonix Mont Blanc

It was one bombing summer! And now I have to spend at least half the Autumn behind a laptop, trying to put it all on "paper". I am not yet sure how if and how I am going to do this, but it wanted to share a bit of my summer experiences since it was so quit here for all this time.

Walk of the world
4 days of 50km per day (31mile) is nothing to take easy. It was the third consecutive year I did it and I'm glad I spent a lot of weekends practicing my mileage. Again.
But I had fun: I walked the 50km together with a friend, who unfortunately had a lot of problems with blisters and painful feet. Luckily I survived the entire 200km without blisters or (any excessive) pain. My girlfriend walked the "girly" distance of 40km per day (25mile), also without any blisters but with a smile on her face (at least until the finish line of day 4).

I am not yet sure if I'm going to walk this event again next year; all the weekends of training take up so much time that the fun is escaping slowly. So my goal is to walk a long distance event once in a while and go out for an overnighter more often to keep my feet up for the job. We'll see how that goes.

We spend 2 days here, one of which we actually walked in the mountains. Our second day we spend in the beautiful city of Innsbruck which has a rich history and a very close link to the mountains it's surrounded by. Apart from the fact that it a nice and easy accessable mountain range, it was also a good place for us to take a break from driving, because we were going to Italy; to the Bergamo Alps.

Bergamo Alps
We booked a campsite directly next to the shores of Lago Iseo. A very nice lake but temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) sometimes made it hard to actually go out and do something else then swimming and sunbathing. Not a punishment after walking all these miles in the last few weeks.

Luckily in the higher mountains the temperatures dropped to an acceptable degree so we were able to walk a bit.

Chamonix Mont Blanc
My first time trying actual mountaineering and I loved it. We spent the first few days breaking in the new shoes, trying out our new crampons on a glacier and doing some mild ice climbing. At the end of the first week we tried our best on reaching the summit of the Petite Aiguille Verte (3.512m or 11.522ft.) but unfortunately this turned out in a rescue operation...I will explain in a post soon.

We were able to reach the summit of the Bishorn in Switzerland (4.153m or 13.625ft.), which was also a training for our bigger goal: the Mont Blanc itself.
Unfortunately we weren't able to get reservations in the busy Gouter hut, so we set out to investigate an other route via the Mont Blanc du Tacul. We went up for a look on a Tuesday, to find out 2 people were killed by an avalanche that same morning. Looking at the snow and ice that was still waiting to slide, we decided not to try to summit the Mont Blanc.

Because we weren't going to the Mont Blanc and one of my teammates had a sprained knee, we decided to spend our last 3 days in Chamonix by climbing rocks: awesome!

I will dedicate a post to everything we did in Chamonix soon but for now I am glad I finally found the time to write something again.