How not to climb Mont Blanc

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 Rigid Raider 02 Mar 2006
Searching for information on the tramway du Mont Blanc (having seen the line from Megeve last week) I came across this appalling account of some Swedes who managed to get up and down without killing themselves.

Read and shudder....
 UKC Forums 02 Mar 2006
This thread was started in the wrong forum and has now been moved.
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OP Rigid Raider 02 Mar 2006
In reply to UKC Forums:

Oooh, sorry! I didn't think it serious enough for the Alpine forum!
 lummox 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider: LOL- what a bunch of stars... it`s no wonder they wanted to get the chopper to take 20kg sacs back down. Bless em.
 Bruce Hooker 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Sounds like a fairly average sort of alpine fisaco to me - apart for the use of helicopters! - isn't that the way most people learn?

After all 3 out of 4 made it under their own steam
Sperm 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Hi Rigid,

Absolute classic! Probably not that far removed from Paccard and Balmat in 1786 or whenever it was. I know they were very dim in this day and age but you also have to remember it was that kind of attitude that was deployed in the "golden age of alpinism" that effected a lot of the first ascents.
Does sound very much like a troll though !

 Wibble Wibble 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Sperm:

Excellent. Should be made honoury Brits for that sort of bumbling f*ck-up, but still doing it. The times up and down aren't too bad, plus with all that load they were carrying.
FredMead 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Flippin' 'eck, I'm surprised they are all alive!

In reply to Rigid Raider:

Very, very lucky bunch. I'm surprised the narration does not include Doctor Who coming out from his Tardis saying "Quick guys, this way! We're in for a climbing course on Planet Whatisname!"

Loved their decision to continue a late morning, unsupported, on-sight descent into the Grand Plateau with abnormally high temperatures, live avalanche footage from across the Plateau, and evidence of all the snow bridges gone for good. I just wonder why they didn't wait for the temperatures to rise a little more and for altitude effects to kick in, it would have added to the experience.

But the best bit is when they don't stop at the Grand Mulets hut, even if one of them is evidently badly dehydrated and exhausted and begging for help, because they fear to miss the last telepherique down to Cham (even if the 'pherique station is 900 meters down a ugly crevassed glacier). Straight out "Monty Python's Flying Circus".

Ady Short 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider: excellent, a real adventure, where would we be without them? Whymper wouldn't have climbed the Matterhorn and Mallory and Irvine would have lived into old age!
iceaxe 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:
I liked his piece of advice that crampons are good bits of gear - very informative...actually, I'm surprised they were wearing them at all.
 skeev 02 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider: Superb story. Wish I'd been with them. That soup sounds delicious.
 Simon Caldwell 03 Mar 2006
In reply to Luca Signorelli:
> Straight out "Monty Python's Flying Circus".

I was reminded more of Diary of a Nobody
Sperm 03 Mar 2006
In reply to Ady Short:

Hi Ady,

My point exactly. What was very funny also was when they thought they were carrying too much weight they ate as many bananas as possible then threw the rest away !!!

suspicious 03 Mar 2006
Oh come on, its an obvious troll. Funny, but a troll.
 Fume Troll 03 Mar 2006
In reply to Wibble Wibble:

> Excellent. Should be made honoury Brits for that sort of bumbling f*ck-up, but still doing it.

Exacly what I was thinking, reads like one of the old school british summit attempts. "As the backpack was very heavy to carry I ate as many bananas I could and threw away the rest". Stiff upper lip old chap.


 Jiffy 03 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I knew this was going to be crazy after reading:

"(in the car I put the song "Mission impossible" on repeat which I had on a CD). "
 maybe_si 04 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:
to be fair, i would probably put on some form of cheesy build-up music such as that, but then again im not nearly as much of a muppet as those guys! (i hope)
 John Blab 05 Mar 2006
I sent a message to this guy requesting he add some comments about how you should NEVER DO THIS. I can just imagine a similar group Googling and thinking "hey look these guys made it, we can too!"

It was a hilarous read though, I must say, the highlight of my morning coffee web browsing. I had heard there were such people on the Mont Blanc but it really hits home why there are so many deaths when you consider there could be dozen of people like this group. Wow. I mean, WOW.
 beermonkey 05 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

interesting story, especially as there are lots of references to CERN, suggesting these people could be some of the cleverest scientific minds in europe!
 Rip van Winkle 06 Mar 2006
In reply to beermonkey: Clever (in one sense) maybe, though even CERN needs people to replenish the vending machines. I'm just waiting for their report of tackling the 7 summits in the Swedish stylee.
 Morgan Woods 06 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:


After having lunch, which contained hamburgers we drove home. Christian and Rawi went with the train as Rawi's car didn't work. All came home without any difficulties but I doubt we will do the trip again.

nice description of lunch...Poco Loco burgers maybe.....and some masterful understatement at the end.
pittachope 06 Mar 2006
Bumblies R us... I suspect you'd be safer unroped on a glacier than roped to prize faffers like these.
 Tom G 06 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I think the key message is that one should get good enough to attempt routes that beginners and morons would never attempt (ie ANY route other than the normal route). I think this goes for any mountain really.

It's amazing the amount of people you meet on these sort of climbs in the alps who don't even know how to put on crampons/harnesses!
 chrtur 06 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

For your information I was that summer at CERN and working and knew some of these guys and the story is actually true more or less. One of the guys will never climb anymore .

 Bruce Hooker 06 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I think some of you are being a bit churlish, they got up and down without mishap, which is already good going for beginners. A lot of people probably start off with similar epics, not only in the Alps but in Wales and Scotland too... not all are frank enough to make it public, that's all

I think the saying it in broken English adds a lot of charm to the account too.
 John Blab 07 Mar 2006
Johan wrote back to me saying he's now a much more experienced mountaineer since 2001 and agrees the trip was a complete disaster. He added a big red warning message to his webpage now:

"Mont Blanc is not an easy mountain for beginners. One should be discouraged by this story and if interested to climb hire a professional guide."

I feel bad lambasting him so much as he seems like a really nice and smart guy. He just got bad advice about not getting a guide and maybe suffered from a bit of "ahh we're badass we can do it" mentality that's affected everybody on this board at one time or another.

To Bruce --- Of course everybody has gotten in over their heads at one point or another and has stories like Johan's to some degree. You have to commend these guys for trying - and succeeding - even in the face of extreme difficulties (ridiculously heavy backpacks, total lack of experience with gear, etc.) This story I think is signifigant due to the sheer lack of preparedness and amount of life-threatening situations that developed and also because you can imagine so many others having a similar "trip report" because of Mont Blanc's fame and allure.
 sutty 07 Mar 2006
In reply to John Blab:

That link should be posted as FAQ when the people ask about climbing Mont Blanc every time.
Tig Smith 07 Mar 2006
In reply to sutty: I was going to say that! Sounds like something we would have all done at some point. Bet it was quite an adventure. It gave me a good laugh , I needed that after a long day at work . I'm going to go and look at my maps of Greenland now and think about a bit of summer adventure. Shouldn't take long as there isn't much on them!
 willhunt 07 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider: My bro and his friend were thinking of climbing Snowdon today because their uni lecturers were on strike. Neither of them had any snow walking experience and I think they decided not to go for the whole thing (thank god) and just mucked about in the snow.
Cant beleve that idiot wore jeans! Bl**dy Swiss.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Mar 2006
In reply to willhunt:

> Cant beleve that idiot wore jeans! Bl**dy Swiss.

I climbed with a friend (from Nottingham, not Swiss) who wouldn't wear anything except jeans for climbing - Scotland, Alps, Hindu Kush, Bolivia, always in jeans... sometimes with thermawear underneath though It's just a case of individual preference... he hated moleskin breeches, that's all.
chadz4 07 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I know it was irresponsible behaviour.. blah, blah.

Sounded like good fun and a great adventure though!
 JDDD 08 Mar 2006
In reply to Rigid Raider: LOL!
"I have had read that in warm weather the snow gets wet which increases the risk of avalanches. I also knew that this route was very dangerous just because if this. Otherwise the route was fairly simple compared to the other one except for all the crevasses."


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