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16.08.2010

Aig. de Chamonix Solo-Traverse

 Aiguille de l’M, Petits Charmoz, Grands Charmoz, Aiguille du Grépon, Aiguille de Blaitiere, Aiguille de Ciseaux, Aiguille du Fou, Dent du Caïman, Dent du Crocodile, Aiguille du Plan, Aiguille du Midi – these are the main summits of the Aiguilles de Chamonix, a mountain range reaching from Montenvers to the Aiguille du Midi.

Ever sine I've visited Chamonix the first time I was fascinated by the amazing granite towers with their steep faces. If you string together these towers there appears a ridge of eight kilometers with precipitous flanks going down almost thousand meters. Beautyful and demanding!

As I arrived in Chamonix the conditions were not that good – it was really cold and at a height of about 3200m there was still a lot of fresh snow. I was also worried about the weather forcast. Only one and a half day was left for the traverse. 

So there was no time to spare. I quickly took the cog railroad to Montenvers. At about 4 p.m. I started and reached the ridge after an hour. Afterwards i made my way by climbing between the granit towers towards Aiguille de'M and Petits Charmoz where I bivouaced. After a sleepless night I had to start early in the morning at 5:30. Climbing got harder and the higher I got the more I had to use my ice axes. 

I was  coming along the Grands Charmoz and the Aiguille du Grépon (I had to omit the Blatitiere because there wasn't enough time) and the Ciseaux until the Fou. The Dent du Caiman really seemed to be an obstacle: The easiest way led along a crack to a small field of ice. It was the only part I had to climb without my rucksack.
Afterwards I also managed to reach the Dent du Crocodile but left out Aiguille du Plan (not a pity because I already climbed that one some time before). After more than 18 h of climbing and more than 3000 metres of altitude I reached the Aiguille du Midi summit. I really was completely exhausted and took the early train down again.

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