Since the Tête Rousse and Goûter huts on the normal Mont Blanc route had been fully booked in July, I followed the advice of Boris Lorenčič - Lori and did some climbs on the Italian side of Monte Rosa. My guests turned out to be very fit and experienced enough to be able to climb three 4,000-meter peaks in five days.
After a nine-hour drive from Slovenia, we reached Port, the starting point for Gran Paradiso, from where it took us two and a half hours to reach the Vittorio Emanuele II hut. We wasted no time the following morning and quickly set off across the moraine and the granite slopes that lead to the glacier. Stars soon gave way to a bright blue sky as we reached the glacier, where countless mountaineers were already well on their way. After roping up we started climbing amidst the massive crevasses, but the morning cold ensured that the conditions were safe. Strong wind greeted us on the first plateau, so instead of stopping for a rest we continued towards the col at a steady pace. Once there, we left our ice axes and crampons and continued along the exposed ridge towards the summit. The view was exceptional, but the top was also very crowded, so I lowered my guests onto a ledge below and abseiled after them. We quickly descended and reached the edge of the glacier at noon. We still had to walk down to the hut, where we celebrated our guests’ first 4,000-meter peak.
After spending the night at the hut we descended to the valley and drove to Gressony. We used the extensive lift system to get as high as 3,425 m, from where we walked and climbed to the incredibly comfortable Genifetti hut (3,641 m).
The next day we climbed the heavily-crevassed glacier to the top of Vincentpiramid (4,215 m). After returning to the hut, we enjoyed a tasty meal and drank enough to quickly recover our strengths. The next morning we followed the ridgeline to Ludwighohe (4,361 m) and Balmenhor (4,167 m) with the Felice Gordano bivouac. After descending down the glacier we were soon back to the comforts of the hut, where we stayed the night before returning to Slovenia the following day, feeling tired but thoroughly satisfied.
My guests had never before worn crampons, but they quickly learned everything they needed to know in order to climb three 4,000-meter peaks. The wonderful weather also contributed to our success and we were able to take quite a few beautiful photos.