Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Day 9: An amazing day out, -26C and the summit of Aiguille du Midi.

Well it seems that my regular sleeping pattern is back big time, another short 5 hours or so of sleep before getting up at 7am for breakfast. I'm actually beginning to get used to eating in the morning though, maybe I should try and keep it up since it is the most important meal of the day so I'm regularly told. Breakfast of champions today, cornflakes topped with coco pops and then 3, yes 3 croissants and yet another 3 cups of tea. I'm sure some people won't believe I managed to eat that much at such an early hour.

Lynette and I decided that as it was her day off and the weather was absolutely perfect, that we would hang out and head up to the top of Aiguille du Midi for some good views, good chat and a way to pass some time. So once we knew the top was open, we hit the street for a 10 minute walk to reach the cable car. It looked like quite a large queue but it moved so fast and before we knew it, we were at the very front of the first car watching as we were wizzed so quickly up to the first station at 2354m. What a difference in the temperature already. After taking in the view and grabbing a few price pictures, we head off to the next cable car that would traverse Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the North Face of the Midi to 3800m. Overall you have an altitude gain of over 2700m in 20 minutes... impressive stuff.

We then headed off for the summit and upon reaching the 3842m that is the top of the midi, the recorded temperature in the pretty strong 120km/h wind was -26C and in Lynette's words; was a trifle fresh. Within a few seconds of having my gloves off to capture the outstanding views, my fingers were freezing cold and my toes, even in my mountaineering boots with 2 pairs of socks could feel it. My phone camera decided that it was too cold to continue working and I was sure I got a little bit of brain freeze. As you can imagine we didn't stay n the summit for too long before we retreated and headed back down to the museum of elite alpinists. It was certainly nice to get some feeling back in my fingers as I basked in the videos and info of all the amazing feats of mountaineering of the past and present. It's amazing to be surrounded by it all, it really does inspire and motivate me to work hard and push the limits of my dreams. Never giving up is the right mentality.

What a fantastic day out I had, not just for the summit of the Midi but for the amazing company that is Lynette, she truly is an awesome person and someone that I am so glad I met in such an amazing place.

For my very last night in Chamonix, I had dinner with the guys again, enjoyed their stories of their day and then randomly bumped into Dave, one of the guys I met in one the ice in Cogne. It really is a small world at times. We all had a drink in the bar and then Simon joined us and after the hotel bar was closed, some of the staff, Dave, Simon and myself all went out into Chamonix Sud to have a drink in a bar called the Jekyll where we drank some beer, played a game that would never be permitted in a central Scotland bar... You hammer a nail into a tree trunk and the loser (the last one to get the nail all the way in) buys the shots. Genius really. I'm so glad I had a week of ice climbing to prepare for this game, my precision was so good that I managed to kick some serious butt... Something to be proud of I reckon. What a great place! Chris, the owner was just brilliant. Good music choices, everyone knows how much that impresses me. So we got our dancing on before finally having to leave 2am. Thank goodness I packed earlier otherwise I'd have to get up super early in the morning.

I definitely had a wonderful time this whole trip and tonight was just a perfect finish. Good memories and new friends to cherish for a long time. I look forward to the day where we meet again.

S xx

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