Trip Start Jul 16, 2011
36Trip End Sep 03, 2011
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Where I stayed
Refuge Tete Rousse
My imagination makes my life sometimes more liveable (when I am in the shit it helps to find the way out) or more difficult (when I make up to much and drift away from reality) and this time I imagined the worst scenario possible. What would happen if one of us got into crevasse or if fell down from the rocks? Do we know which number to call? If somebody is down there in the hole, how would we know his insurance policy number? All these questions were flashing today in my mind during the ascent
The night was cold and wet. Rain again. I tried to put myself in some kind of Yoga Lotus position to keep warm but it prevented me from sleeping. Before 8 o'clock I could hear rumours coming from the other tent that was already awake; I stretched my body to kill the stiffness and I immersed into the dampness. When I am forty I will suffer from rheumatism, that is sure.
I could still remember very well the feeling of hypothermia, I would do anything to avoid that this year and so I went shopping. In the shop I asked for the warmest: wollen socks, wollen leggins, duvet gloves, and extra thermal layer for my sleeping bag. I got as well some glucose from pharmacy. Marek Optimist never saw such a trauma in his life :) Adam Believer has disappeared somewhere close to the church. We were late for the cable car to Bellevue so now we were running.
We embarked to cable car at 1:15 pm in Les Houches (993 ALMS) and it took us 15 minutes to reach Bellevue (1820 ALMS). It was rainy and we were the only passengers. There was a little while before we can catch Tramway du Mont-Blanc (which is located 2 minutes away) so we asked about the weatherhttp://www.mountain-forecast.com), we wanted to hear what locals had to say: You have to be Polish to go up. We did not worry too much; after rain there is sun :)
The third half appears: I didn't get a chance to talk to them properly before, so now I welcome them: Hello, I heard that two of you are ordinary and other one is a hardcore, so who is who?
The train comes, I sink into my mind and wonder how the engineers could construct tracks to all the way to the summit. Is the glacier indeed too mobile to build on it? People laugh at me, they do not understand my concerns, I think too much, I am the freaky one. The tram takes us in 20 minutes from Bellevue (1820 ALMS) to Nid D'Aigle (2372 ALMS). On 3:30 pm we start walking. The rain gradually changes into the snow. I make a company with Marek Optimist, Krzysiek and Bart. We are the first to search for Barrack Forestiere, but we must have missed it - after two hours we are too high to see it. The path is slippery and the hail is whipping our faces. The weather sucks. Three of us arrives to Refuge Tete Rousse (3187 ALMS) at 6 pm. The air behind becomes very milky.
This morning we heard about two French alpinistes who got frozen on Monday. There are no details known, but the fact that we are in the centre of these events, feeds my imagination
Preparing food while waiting for the others takes another 40 minutes. They do not reply to our calls. The weather is the same and I start to be a bit concerned. Finally! I got call from Beata who asks somebody to come and look after them, because they could not see much of the way. Marek and Krzysiek are immediately on their way and soon we are all sitting around the table in the dining room.
Rush, everybody has something to say, brain-storming or Poles night talks starts (nocne Polaków rozmowy); are we going to set up the tents for tonight? What do we do tomorrow?, What is the accurate weather forecast? Looking around, there are mosty Polish groups in the Refuge, some Russians, or Russian-speakers, and small Dutch group which climbs with a guide. I make a reconnaissance and soon I have at least 4 different weather forecasts, and the same amount of point of views. We need to wait for at least some visibility, Grand Couloir can be dangerous during the snow storm. But what can we do? We all want to go. A Polish group to the other table starts to sing traditional songs to surprise of foreign minority..
Bart negotiates a group discount (very nice one!) so that we stay overnight in Annapurna room. The water is limited so I limit my toilet to brushing my tooth. Before falling asleep I talk to Beata about her Himalaya trips, this different culture, holy mountains, this so much different world up there...
The night is peaceful, it is stinky but warm, and my body needs some sleep. I am thinking of the people I should inform, but I'd better wait, enough of them are already worried or keeping their fingers crossed.