Chamonix Success and Failure
This was my second time climbing in the Mont Blanc region. Two years ago Claus-Dieter and I had climbed Mont Blanc and vowed to come back. Since both of us didn't really have time to do a lot of planning beforehand, we arrived with a pretty lose schedule and just some ideas. This fact, combined with the rather interesting weather during our stay, made for a much different outing. At the end, we had spend nearly two days trapped in a hut on the mountain because an August blizzard was preventing the gondolas down to Chamonix from running. We had also made a questionable decision to change huts during a pretty bad morning thunderstorm.
Despite these circumstances, we managed to climb Tour Ronde (3792 m) from which we had great views at Mont Blanc's Peuterey pillar. We had a very late start (close to noon!) when most people were coming down already. Because of this we got the summit to ourselves but really had to hurry to get down before nightfall.
On the following day we climbed to Salle a Manger just below Dent du Geant (4013 m) to get a view at the Arete de Rochefort with its famous cornice. The climb along the ridge to the Aiguille du Rochefort (4001 m) and even further to the summit of Grandes Jorasses (4184 m) is a classic climb in the Mont Blanc reagion. However, because of the strong winds and the advanced time we did not try the ridge.