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Everest North 2013 Intro


MATTERHORN 2017

Journal Entries

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Everest North 2013 Intro


MATTERHORN 2017

Journal Entries

 

The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the border between Switzerland and Italy. It's a large, near-symmetrical pyramid-of-a-peak whose summit is 4,478 meters (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the tallest mountains in the Alps and Europe. 

This climb was for myself, something that I've dreamed about for years, ever since I laid eyes on it. It's a difficult peak to reach if you're not from the area, so I decided to go for it.

 
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Everest North 2013 First Days


MATTERHORN FIRST DAYS

July 12th-15th, 2017

Everest North 2013 First Days


MATTERHORN FIRST DAYS

July 12th-15th, 2017

 

Finally, after 7 years, I was back in the Alps babyyyyyy!!

Last time I came, my main objective was Mont Blanc (which I achieved), but on our summit push I remember seeing from a distance...the MATTERHORN! And I told myself in that moment that I would be back to climb it one day.

So here I was.

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I arrived in Chamonix after a nice vacation with my wife in Italy the week prior. She flew home and I took a bus up from Milan. Coincidentally enough, a good friend of mine was in the area so we spent the first couple days just enjoying the town and doing a couple hikes up around the nearby mountains. Good way to acclimatize a little.

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My initial plan was to climb with an old climbing partner, but she couldn't make it last minute so I had no choice but to hire a local guide. His name was Wolfgang and with a name like that, you'd expect him to be a badass (he was). 

We spent the first day of climbing just brushing up on my rock climbing skills. We headed up to a small practice peak called L'aiguille de L'index. It was a one our climb, not too challenging, but a good test and a great way for me and Wolfgang to measure each others style.

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The next day was more intense. We drove to the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, and took the gondola up where we trekked up to Le Dent du GĂ©ant ("tooth of the giant," because it literally looks like a giant tooth!). The approach was just a long snow slog, and then a bit of rock scrambling. Then we arrived at "the tooth", which was where the serious rock climbing began. It started in the shade (a.k.a. freezing!) and then as the morning went on, warmed up quite significantly. I was nervous about this climb because I had never really done anything like it before, but once I got my groove going, I was really loving it and doing well. We climbed up at a quick bit and when we got to the top, Wolfgang even lauded me on my speed and strength! 

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Perfect weather at the top, and then a fun set of rappelling down the other side of the tooth back to the snow. Then a long slog back to the refuge, where we spent the night. The plan originally was to do another climb the next day but I opted for a rest day so I could be fresh and ready for the main objective on Saturday: the Matterhorn.

 
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