… FULL of life
How was it?
… FULL of life
Was it hard?
…it was full of life. And it filled me with life, too. And it called me all the time – while I was climbing up and down, I heard my name.
How do you feel now?
…I know that I am loved now
Two years ago, after I climbed Mont Blanc, I knew I wanted to climb Matterhorn. It seems that 2018 was the time for it.
My plan was to acclimatize before climbing it, so my expedition started with 3 days spent on Monte Rosa, 2 of them at over 4550 m at Margherita Hut.4
I was sick, very sick. You may find below the difference between my face @ 4500 m and my face on a casual day.
We climbed Dufourspitze (4634 m – the 2nd highest peak in the Alps) . I will write the story of Dufour in another article.
We camped in a van in camping Glair in Valtounenche.
Cost: 59 euro per night
We climbed the Italian route of Breithorn (4164 m).
Although B. wanted to climb Matterhorn on Sundays and Monday, we decided to start out expedition on Saturday.
The weather changed for Sunday (the summit day that we chose) from bad to very good. We got lucky, but we still remained reserved.
We took the first gondola from Cervinia to Plan Maison.
Cost 12.5 euro per person (up and down)
From Plan Maison we took the route 65 to ABruzzi Hut.
Approximate time: 1-1.5 hours.
From Abruzzi Hut we begun hiking more and more abrupt zones. There were also parts of the route that we had to climb till we got to Colle del Leone (see picture below, at ‘Route’ section of the article).
After Colle del Leone, there’s a path until you get to some fixed ropes on a vertical section. It might seem easy, but climbing that part with a heavy backpack on your back won’t be the easiest thing.
And when you think it’s over, you’ll find the most vertical part of the route (until Carrel). And you stard wondering ‘What are you doing there with the 15 kg backpack dragging you down?”
At the end of this fixed rope, B. was waiting:
“If you managed to climbe this rope with your backpack on, it means that you are well acclimatized. Let’s go!”
We found at Carrel snow and the cooker working, so I got chill regarding the water.
I watched the mountain for a while, I saw some teams coming back from the summit. Then, I went to sleep for a few hours.
B. wanted to leave Carrel at abou 5 a.m., but I wanted to leave earlier – maybe 2-3 a.m. so that we won some time. Even though climbing an unknown route during the night wasn’t going to be easy, we would still won some time& distance.
All the teams left Carrel at 3.30 so we had to leave, too. We had to wait at the beginning of the route for four teams.
The route starts with a fixed rope, a quite heavy climb. B. went after the first ones, now it was my turn. But a Spanish lady that was just in front of me started screaming:
“Ramoooon, tensaaa! No puedoooo” I managed to pass her by on the hardest part section.
And we continued the route doing what we learned on Dufour:
Until, finally, the sun rised. It was the moment we begun climbing the vertical parts of Pic Tyndal.
I found Pic Tyndal the hardest part of the route, I didn’t like it at all – while climbing up or down.
We could already see the summit. It seemed so close. Seemed…
We climbed for another 2 hours – vertical sections, some of them had fixed ropes and then we climbed Jordan Stair. And then again fixed ropes and just before the summit, a free climb zone.
I called my mother, as I promised her.
^hours and a half of climbing. We managed to pass by all the teams – the Koreans, the Spanish teams quit and other 3 teams that left Carrel earlier than we did were already climbing down. And we found out later that we also had a team of Russians behind us.
We didn’t know what was going to happen…
The Korean teams reached the summit just the moment we started descending. Kim asked what my name was, using signs as they did not know English at all. I Told him my name, I shake his hand, smiled and continued the descending.
Easy, very careful, at the edge of safety. B. is better than I am at rappelling, so I looked for the pins and he descended first.
On Pic Tyndal, all of the teams that were behind us got caught us up. But none of them wanted to go first. Until we got to Carrel they all waited for us to male each rappel and they followed us. They were afraid that they would miss the route.
B. passed the traverse and told me to come, too.
I stopped suddenly. A rock hit me, luckily on my left foot. I can’t realize how bad it is.
B. is telling me to move. After 10 seconds I realize that I can continue. It felt like the mountain told me to hurry up.
All the time I felt like someone was calling my name…
…in korean, at every rappel
…in russian, every time Vladimir and Serghei got next to me, waiting for B. to confirm that he found the next piton for the rappel.
…B. was calling my name all the time, in each sentence (he usually doesn’t)
There was an absurd silence, I could only hear the glacier braking, the rock avalanches and my name. The mountain knew I was there.
We didn’t make any major mistake, we didn’t lost the route, so we managed to get back to Carrel at sunset. Almost crying, I called my mother: “I’m good, we got back to the hut”
Each mountain teaches me a lesson that I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life.
Last year, on Monch, the Swiss guide told me “It’s easy to become a good mountaineer, but it’s hard to become an old one.”
This year…during the whole expedition, B. told me that he wanted to climb the Matterhorn with a more experienced person. He tried to climb it last year, but couldn’t make it. At the end, when we got home, while we were splitting the equipment, B. smiled at me, he thanked me (the most sincere ”Thank you” that I’ve ever heard) and then he kissed my hand.
I understood that I was the mate for this dream of his (climbing Matterhorn) – maybe not the most experienced, but I was his mate in this expedition and we got back safe.
2. Abruzzi Hut– Carrel Hut
The route from Carrel to the summit
We got some information from people that climbed Matterhorn in 2016 and realized some things:
Surse externe pentru informare (de aici).
…Matterhorn – for letting me climb you
… to B.
…to my mother