|Camp near Gonella Hut, in Glacier du Dôme, again on the ice.
The adventure started 2 days before, in Courmayeur. We had left our Miage glacier camp at 2200 meters, and had walked and climbed all day. Finally, we reached the Gonella Hut and arranged the camp. The actual hut is really nice, with great facilities and good food, as well as a great panoramic balcony, but we had our own tents and our own food equipment. However, could not help taking some pictures from the balcony, and decide to have a dinner there.
|It's possible to see the last night's camp place down below in the valley... far, far away!
We had base camp here on both acclimatization summit and top summit days. Near our tents: a group of alpinists from Poland. They moved their camp and continued upwards, which did not give them enough acclimatisation. The altitude sickness won over them, so they did not reach the summit. A lot of nose blood and vomit was found along the way in the snow.
|Here, a few dangers are outlined. A hailstorm is approaching, causing a whiteout. Also, you can clearly see the crevasses
|The snow cap on the top is melting daily and can collapse at any time, better to be avoided
|Stonefall. Better not put camp here.
|Arriving at the camp place, before the backpack is emptied
We did some exercise and skill brush-up. The weather was not good at all, but the tents and sleeping bags provided good shelter. We were now sleeping at 3000 meters above sea level. After resting for the night, we did an acclimatization hike and recon for the route. We arrived to Col du Aig Grises at 3850 meters, sat there for an hour, and came back. I was feeling a bit of the altitude, Joel was used to it, but the third team member was not feeling well. He threw up when waiting at the altitude, and was feeling exhausted.
After we came down, we made an effort for gear maintenance, and then went to rest. We were to attempt summit already tonight, so we really needed the rest. Optimally, we should have stayed another day for acclimatization and rest, but I had a tight schedule leaving the area. It's usually possible to press the time a little bit, but there is a high price to pay in the form of altitude sickness.
|Resting in the cozy tent
The adventure continues - read about the next days here!