Resuming the climb

Towards the fourth outing
M4810 - Si riprende a salire

It’s strange seeing these by-now-almost-mountaineers dressed in office clothes, elegant and busy, as you would expect in a consulting company that counts some of the country’s biggest and most important companies among its clients. I watch them as, concentrated, they watch a presentation about the next outing, and I try to remember their faces when we’re in the mountains. Their eyes are the same, full of ambition and will to do it – it’s unmistakable. I imagine them suffering on the way up the last hike, while they celebrate making it to the top, then tired and sweaty on their way back down. And I can’t wait to see them in that environment again!

Every outing is a new challenge, it is made up of elements that are different from the last, regarding the environment, the elevation to be climbed, the type of terrain. And this time there is an extra element of difficulty: we’re all back from a month of holidays, an August spent in most cases laying on a beach in the sun, not preparing for the ambitious 4810 metre project that awaits. It’s going to be a beautiful endeavour again!

It’s strange thinking about all the various polemics about Mont Blanc these days, on the lack of preparation and respect of the improvised hikers that led to the decision to restrict access to  the highest mountain in Europe. It’s strange because looking at what we’re doing, at the awareness and preparation that these people are putting into this endeavour, it makes me angry to think there are people that underestimate the mountains in such a way. I think that this is the principal example of how the climb of the Mont Blanc should be approached: preparation, head, heart. Let’s hope that this group can be a virtuous example, a living demonstration not just of the ability of people and organisations to change, but also, and above all, of the commitment that needs to be put into doing something new and extreme.

This is why this project is experiencing so much success, enough to allow us to involve another exceptional partner: The Italian Alpine Club (CAI), which will accompany us from this point forward on our adventure! The volunteer instructor of the CAI Milano, as well as the president, who have taken this cause to heart, will be with us. If even they share our mission, we’re on the right road!

And it’s just the beginning: the partnerships, projects, and training possibilities that this trip entails are infinite, and there are some exciting things in the works. But we won’t reveal them just yet. Now it’s time to prepare for the fourth M4810 outing… and this time it will be truly international!

Our destination is Switzerland, in search of unique and extraordinary routes that we haven’t yet experienced.

The Passo del Sempione to the Monte Leone hut, at 2800 metres above sea level. Just over 800 metres of elevation gain that should be doable considering what we did last time, but that hides dangers typical of its environment. The goal is still to stay as close together as possible, to reach the top as one body and one mind, another step on the long road towards the Mont Blanc.

If not that, the feedback of the group is more compact than ever: to the question “do you want to continue this adventure?” the YES is unanimous. There are many challenges, and the need to create more exchange and dialogue between those who have different paces is still present, but one thing is certain: Methodos continues to climb.

The journey

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Mont Fallère

Methodos - M4810 - Mont Fallère

It is the first peak over 3.000m of our project

Mont Fallère is found in the Grand Combin Alps in the Aosta Valley.

Found between the Gran San Bernardo Valley and the Valdigne, it’s a great introduction to the magical world of the 3000s. Mont Fallère, situated in the heart of the Aosta valley, proposes a 360° panorama of all the Aosta valley peaks. Its layout is not the be underestimated, but overall it doesn’t present great difficulties, even if we need to be really careful in the final part of the ridge.

We go up in two stages: the first day up to the Fallère Hut; the second day we arrive at the summit and then we go down to the valley.

Read the story :)

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Pointe Lechaud

Our first alpinistic climb to a summit

Pointe Léchaud (3.128m) is located along the borderline between Italy (Valle d'Aosta) and France (Savoy).

It is located south of the Col de la Seigne (2.512m) between the Veny Valley and the Savoy Valley of the Glaciers.

We climb in two stages: on the first day we walk from La Visaille to the Elisabetta Soldini Hut (2.195m); on the second day up to the top and back to La Visaille.

From the hut we go up to the Col Chavannes (2.603m); from the hill we have to leave the marked path that begins to descend into the Chavannes valley, following a path on the right that crosses the very steep eastern slope of Mount Lechaud. The trail continues on the right, again not far from the crest of Mount Lechaud and crosses a small valley of stones or snow, reaching the wide basin where the Chavannes Glacier is located. Once we have put on crampons, we set foot on the glacier going diagonally to the left. From this point we gradually turn to the right pointing directly to the top, which can be reached by overcoming some easy rocky steps. What we see is a vast and spectacular panorama on the Italian side of Mont Blanc.

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Vallée Blanche

Methodos - M4810 - Vallée Blanche

Crossing the Gigante glacier towards the Aiguille du Midi

Although it may seems like a "scenic walk", the Vallée Blanche should not be underestimated, as it is an itinerary that involves crossing the Gigante glacier. It is always necessary to be accompanied by an Alpine Guide who knows the itinerary very well and knows how to avoid the dangers.

We go up by cable car to Punta Helbronner (3.462m), we wear harnesses and crampons and we tie ourselves together.

The first section makes us lose altitude and then we start to climb towards the Aiguille du Midi. The last section includes the ascent of the snow-covered ridge of the Aiguille du Midi, reaching 3.842m.

The return is with the panoramic cable car which takes us back to Punta Helbronner.

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Gran Paradiso

Methodos - M4810 - Gran Paradiso

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory. A classic and fascinating climb: after a first part on ice, to be able to reach the peak marked by a statue of the Virgin Mary, you must pass some simple rocky crossings.

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Monte Rosa

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Rosa

2 full-immersion days of technical alpine skill training on Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa is a mountain range that is found in the Pennine Alps, along the watershed line between Italy (on the border of the Aosta valley and Piedmont) and Switzerland. It gives name to the Monte Rosa Alps supergroup, which in turn is composed of various important groups and subgroups, east of the Cervino and south-east of the Mischabel range. It is the most extended range in the Alps, and second in height after the Mont Blanc. It is the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second in Italy, and has the highest average height, containing 9 of the 20 highest peaks of the chain.

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Monte Bianco

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Bianco

Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian) is a mountain situated in the North-occidental Alps, in the Graian Alp range, on the watershed line between the Aosta valley (val Veny and val Ferret in Italy), and Haute-Savoie (the Arve valley in France), in the territories of Courmayeur and Chamonix, which give name to the Mont Blanc Massif, belonging to the subsection of the Mont Blanc Alps.

It’s 4808,72m (the last official measure was taken September 13, 2017) make it the highest mountain in the Alps, in Italy, in France, and in general in Europe if we exclude the Caucuses. This is why it’s called the King of the Alps. It shared a spot on the list of the highest Seven Summits with Mount Elbrus in the Caucuses.

Primarily granite full of peaks and crests, cut by deep glacial valleys, it is internationally renowned for its climbing and, from a historical point of view, the birth of mountaineering coincides with its first ascent: August 8, 1786.