Dômes de Miage
When my alarm went off at 0330 I was slightly nervous. Nervous because it will be all too easy to hit the snooze button and forget the challenge that I had set myself for the day. But I had a rendezvous to make: 0630 at the Refuge de Tré la Tête to meet Catrin and Anne. Nervous because there was little supporting evidence that I could do this challenge. I had never done this much vertical asent in a day and Ben Bardsley had told me doubtfully "it's a big day".
However, deep down I knew that getting out of bed would be the hardest part. After that, all I had to do was keeping going up. The time plodding up through the forest passed quickly. The temperature was good for making quick progress. With it being dark all my focus was on the path in front of me, and placing my feet carefully. I was pleased to arrive at the refuge with time for a coffee. I was relieved to no longer be travelling alone.
Time passed quickly again beyond the hut. The "bad step" was clear of snow making it a straightforward descent down on to the glacier. We settled into a steady rhythm keen to make as much progress as possible before the sun hit us. The more height we gained, the better the scenery got. With every corner we turned, a new view opened up in front of us. The place was so quiet too, only 9 of us in total that we could see in the area.
We roped up for the final traverse to the summit and once there took some time to enjoy where we were. I am always amazed how travelling on ski in the mountains can get you to such places in a relatively short space of time. There is a sense of freedom that comes with travelling efficiently in the mountains.
Catrin and I have come to accept that whilst training for the PDG "it is not about the downs". We remained positive about the icy snow and rattled down it being thankful for being able to journey in such a dramatic environment.
The snow quickly turned to spring and became very enjoyable. We made the ever so important traverse at 2772. 2 of the 9 didn't make this traverse and we later watched them from the comfort of our rock by the lake trying to tackle the difficult ground beneath them. In the end they called for a yellow taxi. Maybe not a bad move as it did drop them back at their car avoiding the walk through the forest!