Our team are working well on the mountain. We're developing new techniques to enable us to climb with our injuries. Here's the latest blogs:
29th Sept 2016
Aim of this day was ascend the mountain to the Albert premier hut and conduct technical rope work and crevasse rescue techniques on the glacier.
Although some of the team are very competent in technical mountaineering, for some, it is the first time out doing mountaineering at this level, as a beginner to this myself I was fairly nervous and not really knowing what to expect. The weather was looking good and with the forecast to improve over the next few days it was excellent for training opportunities whilst up at high altitudes. The team set off with the guides and planning to reach the hut within a couple of hours the route was good and a great chance to sort out any nagging kit problems. The heavy mountaineering boots make the going tough especially for those with lower leg injuries.
On reaching the hut at 2700m it was time for a well deserved brew. The hut is located on the edge of the Letour glacier and the views are breathtaking, for the remainder of the day we used the glacier for training with the guides putting us through our paces on crampon skills, rope skills, ice axe skills and crevasse rescue. We also got our first taste of working at altitude, which isn't easy. With injuries in the team ranging from lower leg, upper body, amputees, PTSD and brain injuries we adapted to the kit and equipment and found the most efficient way of using it and making it work around our injuries. By the end of a day I was really confident and looking forward to tomorrow and the next phase - putting the skills into practice and climbing 'Tete Blanche' a peak of 3400m!
Day 1 19th Sept
Jaco Van Gas
One by one the team make there way from the bedrooms to the breakfast table and after every sip of coffee the chalet seem to find a bit more life.
As instructed the night before all our kit and equipment are neatly displayed on out beds read to be inspected by our guides. Boots on, backpacks packed and sunblock applied we set of fit the mountains. We took two chairlifts and then had another 3hr walk to the hut that will be out accommodation for the night. Once at the hut it was a quick turnaround, we got shown our bed space, dropped a few bits of kit that would not be needed for the afternoon and soon headed out on to the glacier.
On the glacier we walked around in our crampons to get use to the odd sensation... basically you have to walk around like John Wayne so the sharp crampon points doesn't rip you trousers apart and you trip over and fall face first in the snow.
We also conducted some rope work and different techniques to ascent and decent in snowy and icy conditions.
With only a few glasses of red wine and some lovely food it was an early night for us all as a 06:00 start was looming the next morning.