And so, with barely 48hrs between my summit photo being taken and me getting on the plane to come home, a devastating avalanche hit Mt Maudit and claimed the lives of another 9 climbers. Sad news, which made for a very quiet few days this week. The strong winds which battered me all week on my slow climb up to the Mont Blanc Massif and had me on my hands and knees near the summit had deposited a large slab of snow on the Maudit face, which gave way just as the group of climbers were passing underneath. Having experienced the effects of an avalanche in February this year, which took my climbing partner 100ft down the ice wall in Argentiere, I am only too aware of the power and speed at which the snow hits you. We live to tell another tale…life is either a great adventure, or nothing.
Further learnings from my climb, my 10 year old Casio digital watch, while trustworthy at 52 meters underwater, was not built for -20 degrees and +15,000ft altitude….who knew?! It now comes with added ‘water inside’ feature.
With weeks fast turning into months, our 4×4 overland expedition is nearly upon us. ‘planning’ is more a case of a few text messages, “got any anti-malarials”, and “shall we get our International Driving Permits” to name a few! For the record, I’ve already had malaria, and yes, the driving permit is probably a good idea