The ascent of Mont-Blanc by Mélanie
Our new ambassador climbing Le Mont-Blanc with Meidjo
One day we received a magnificent poem presenting a fine project: Climb le Mont Blanc with telemark, but in particular with Meidjo.
Mélanie had always dreamt of climbing this mythical mountain and it's without hesitation that we helped Mélanie in her project.
You will discover this wonderful adventure through her account and the beautiful pictures which Mélanie and Manu have brought from those heights.
Today, The M Equipment is proud to have Mélanie in it's ambassador team.
How about going on telemark on the slopes of Mont Blanc. Here is the story of two from the Jura, a boy, a girl crazy about telemark. As children, teenagers and grown children, we learnt to ski & to telemark on the slopes of the massif: in Noirmont, la Dôle with a point of view forever mac: the Alpes.
Inevitably, our eyes were drawn the the highest and most majestic... and in our heads a little phrase persisted: "One day, I'll go up there".
In Autumn 2014, it's decided, this is the moment, now is the time to transform the dream into a real project... We contact our telemark guide, François Lacour to prepare the program for the ascent in spring 2015. Some go on foot, others on ski, for us we could only go with free heel.
This winter... we'll be deep in preparation... crosscountry, skiing, a great 'Transjurassien' in tribute to our Jura, climbing with skins, right and left of Telem in powder snow, in snow and even in the rain!! We wouldn't miss any gathering, always so pleasant: Varnavo (Jura), Chatelem (Châtel), Meidjo (La Grave), Black Shoes (Tignes) etc... in brief as many activities as possible to have thighs and construction in form.
For the materiel, I wanted something solid, light, rich in sensations, therefore: it will be Meidjo (from The M Equipment)... and nothing but Meidjo. For me it's the long-awaited binding. My equipment skis & binding weighed 3 Kg 780 - 8.33 pounds - (2 Kg 980 + 800 g - 6,57 pounds + 1,76 pounds).
We parted to be dazzled by the view: we needed the best accesories in this field, as much in protection as in design. Without hesitation it's with helmet, masks and Julbo glasses that we equiped ourselves. They are two french entreprises and we love to consume "Local"
After two false starts because of doubtful meteo conditions, we decided to part for adventure the 29th and 30th of May. On friday morning we join François in Chamonix. We check bags: ice axe, crampons, knives, dva, shovel, ice piton, water, changes and heat and we take the telepherique for the Aiguille du Midi (2 300 meters - 7 546 feet). The meteo is on our side, the sky is dressed in Blue. In this season, we are obliged to alternate short passages on foot and on ski until we reach the Bossons glacier. It's the moment to rope up... and to open wide our eyes for the scene is splendid. The tracks well marked trace a path through the seracs. You could imagine you were in an art gallery with sculptures in ice on right and left. We can perceive more clearly our refuge, twisted on a rocky outcrop.
16 h: arrived at the Refuge des Grands Mulets (2 051 m - 6 729 feet) after a bit of climbing. Ludo, Armelle and co give us a warm welcome in their 'nepalise' abode. It's the right time - time for saucisson au Bleu des Moussières and bier. A short siesta and a copious meal at 18h30. And there's no doubt that up there you'll find the toilets with a view the most dazzling, the most plunging, the most amazing, the most...!!!
19 h 30, were already in bed but sleep doesn't come easily. The alarm clock is set for 1h15. When we got up the news isn't very good for meteo and visibility. It's snowing and there's not a star to be seen.
2 h 30, our second day begins. We rapidly add the crampons as there are certain passages windy and icy. We're happy to have François ahead to guide us, to protect us from the wind and to leave tracks!!! ça brasse !!!! The GPS helped us a lot although day has dawned, the clouds persist. The other roped parties turn back. We decide to attack the northern ridge of the Goûter for the sun has appeared, axe in hand, crampons on shoes, we head off with 300 meters in height. It will be a heck of a session of musculation for our calfs as I have a tendance to go on my toes!! The guys help and encourage me. Thanks to my stops, we can take lots of photos!! we end up above the clouds, the view is spectacular, the sun more and more intense... it's grandiose!
We make the most of each material stop to eat and drink. I find myself a pick me up in getting on my skis and drinking hot tea, at least... tepid. Manu is begining to feel the inconvenience of altitude, the aspirins to chew were a good idea in the pocket. Our rythme slackens, we are out of breath as if we were trying to sprint while our legs were in slow motion.
We begin to slimpse the Vallot shelter and that warms our heart. In the background Mont Blanc shines and seems to stretch out its arms to us. No other roped party has arrived, neither by the 3 mountains nor from the Goûter shelter. These moments seem so magic... except that the wind reinforces in gusts. We can see that it's swirling around up there. Our guide begins by telling us there are wind patches, and that it will therefore be impossible to redescend on skis from the summit.
Having arrived at the Vallot shelter the gusts of wind destabilize us, the ridge of bumps is icy. An evidence is clear to us: it seems dangerous even impossible to reach the summit today but something within us hopes that the situation may reverse... Our guide finishes by deciding and our ascension will stop at 4 367 meters - 14 327 feet. The wind begins to go through us, we must advance. When the motivation gets a bang on the head, the manipulations become suddenly more difficult, especially for our fingers. We'll need several meters and especially 30 centimeters - about 12 inches of powder snow to lighten our heavy hearts.
This white gold could then transform our long faces into large smiles... The advantage is we are in good form... we still have our thighs to telemark and we won't hesitate. Our guide gives is a detailed description of the terrain to avoid crevasses and other dangers. We just have to follow in his tracks or rather we just have to profit from theses turns in the midst of a dazzling landscape. The tons go from white to the azur blue of the sky passing through the turquoise of the seracs. We realize that we are living through a heavenly descent, we're floating... We wink at the refuge as we pass again in front of the Grands Mulets. The refuge is full this evening there is no place for us. That day no one could reach the summit so desired. Nature reminds us that we cannot master all. We pass roped parties ready in their turn to join the refuge, hoping that chance will be on their side tomorrow. As for us, we're not going to stop at that, next year we'll be off again and one day, for sure, we'll reach the summit.
If I can finish with two phrases: What's important is to be motivated and to be in good health to be able to transform one's dreams into reality and most of all to have delightful dreams in mind to find a meaning in life. This is what liberty is.
Méla from Jura
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