Monday, May 13, 2013

Say hello to the top of Europe

Beautiful Night climbing in the summer is almost perfect. Here's a bit of an adventure story across generations. By Tantyo Bangun, executive summary by darmansjah

Climb Mont Blanc in fact be the ultimate goal of the series to explore and enjoy nature Alps. For example trekking in line with the top of Petit Dru Planpraz looming ahead.

Chamonix, France, one of the benchmark outdoor activities. Like nature, people are free to do anything, as long as know the limits and risks borne.

WAIT was not always boring. This is what I felt with two companions Bambang 'Paimo' Hertadi and Aristi Prajwalita while awaiting the arrival of other colleagues in the small town of Chamonix, in the heart of the Alps. We can not just wait for them in a matter of hours, but a few days.
Presumably our passion ignited by the panoramic beauty and warmth of summer in September last year. The sun was shining, the sky blue, the flowers are blooming, and the mountain peaks as calling from a distance.
After climbing Mount Gran Paradiso in the region of Aosta, Italy, we took a break and stay at the Hotel El Paso. In addition to affordable tariff, the hotel staff generous to us. He was willing to accommodate bicycles and battered owned Paimo and  Aristi in the basement. With frugality, we could leave the cost of other things, including trekking to a plateau around Chamonix.
In this valley, there are more than 350 kilometers of trekking routes, complete with driving directions. We opted to try the route in the direction at an altitude of 1999 meters Planpraz, accompanying cable car uphill toward the south, then down the slope to the east. After that circle back to the west as he came down again to the north. This trip familiarizing us with nature Chamonix in conditions most beautiful in the summer. Walking ten hours was fast because the eye is satisfied by the gorgeous landscape. The wild life, trees, up paragliding attraction like giant butterfly in the sky Chamonix with brilliant colors.

But among its beauty, nature Chamonix still not known tolerance for mistakes. A few days earlier in Breven, one point above Planpraz, the most senior cliff climbing guide were killed. He slammed down. Nature is beautiful, but at the same time it knows no mercy. In Planpraz, we have the right to observe the major challenges of the region, the Mont Blanc. The White Mountain has the highest point in Europe (4810 meters).

Two days later, another fellow-members of the group of nature lovers from Jakarta Vanaprastha came. They walked eight with guide trips as much as 2 people, combination of members varies, from male-female to the father-son. Some of them are in their 20s and some exceed 50 years. Truly mixed.

For three days we wants a shot with a guide from Austria, and colleagues, of the Italy-in the Chamonix ice. They carry climbing equipment. Starting from the shoes nails, harness (belt bridle), ice ax, helmet up. Over the next few days this equipment be a loyal friend as well as our savior. Although just climb Gran Paradiso, and Paimo I still enjoy training under the guidance of professional tour guides. Many things that we have, such as interactions with friends who forged the better climber.

Actually, without any practice we can simply try to climb Mont Blanc. Models climbing in the Alps of Western Europe like a liberal social system. Peaks open for anyone to climb. Its managers believe the climbers are sufficiently knowledgeable and aware of the risks. For those who come from a tropical country there was no requirement sorts. The climber who should know better. They did not hesitate to practice and adjust the equipment to the field of ice and snow.

The first day, we were lined up since early morning Telepherique (cable car) to the direction of the Grand Montet. The place was sloping ice and rocks culminating with its highest point at the Petit Aiguille Verte (3512 meters). Doing the climb with a mixture of rock and ice using a shoe nails leaving its own difficulties. Some people are not able to complete the climb to technical reasons.

Paimo and me paired with a tour of Greek origin. As per typical Mediterranean temperament, this guide impatient and tend to move quickly. During their training, we almost always be in the forefront reached its destination. Being a leader sometimes bad, but those of us who want to be a connoisseur climbing, moving quickly is not the main goal. But we are aware, in the Alps known for its alpine-style ascent technique relies on speed.

Aristi sprained foot while going down on the first day of practice. As a doctor, he understands his foot condition can not be imposed when the load gets dropped. Be her down via the glacier by lowering technique using ropes. He decided to miss the second and third days. He hopes, he can recover and join the team on the climb to the top of the white mountain on the fifth day.

From the pattern of training, the guides looked knowingly provide toughest conditions. The goal, muscles and motor coordination in the field of ice and rock. By trying this extreme case, they hope the day climbing everything becomes easier. The next day, we began to enter the stage of acclimatization to stay at an altitude of 3600 meters.

cosmique hut

point lachenal

abri simond 

At this height again, we must complete a climbing route on Pointe Lachenal ice climbing route and single ridge or ridge and rock wall above the Abri Simond. These exercises are also a kind of screening to determine the condition of the team. One member of the team, suffered altitude sickness (headache and nausea) to take a break and decided not to continue the exercise. Others spend the night in Cosmique Hut. Although the name hut still fond of cooking the meals for the European-quite delicious, especially the soup. Feasting plenty of fluids is essential to avoid altitude sickness.


The next two days may be spelled day of rest. We went down to the lodge in Agentierre and stamina to prepare for the next ascent. But at the same time, our inner shocked to hear about the bad weather in the area of ​​Mont Blanc. Rain, fog, and high winds lashed. Thankfully, the weather forecast on the day of the ascent to our relief, from tonight until tomorrow to bad weather in the Mont Blanc. Rain, fog, and high winds lashed, starting tonight and tomorrow the weather will be good enough. The maximum wind speed of about 50 kilometers per hour and the temperature at the peak reaches minus 10 degrees Celsius.

A full moon appears illuminated. We were able to see the iceberg formations exposed shiny silvery light. At three in the morning all the members of the team moving. In the darkness, the distance and difficulty of terrain is not too pronounced as we seek to move on to the leg joint motion technique (moving together), a rope connected to each other.

 Mont Blanc du Tacul

The first stage is rather light passes Vallee Blance (White Valley) is relatively flat, after it began to grow in the direction of the height of Mont Blanc du Tacul. Some climbers at this point they decided to continue climbing companion because it can not develop optimal speed on the ice field. While the more serious challenges await in the altitude.

The climb continues across the region with threats of glacier debris towards Mont Maudit. This threat requires that we move faster to avoid avalanche danger threatening the ice at any time. Here, climbers began breathing heavily because of the low air pressure at altitude met with technically difficult terrain in this climb.

When light, visible to the north side of Mont Maudit almost vertical ice wall that must be climbed. Right at the bottom, large enough niche ice looked threatening. With the help of an ice ax and claw ice and rope, the barrier height more than 20 meters was successfully passed. Apparently this is the benefit of practicing ice climbing wall, a few days ago.

Rona morning broke and the top of Mont Blanc looks between gloom. At that time, only the youngest climber, who is still trying to move with a sigh of one-on-one.  Paimo, as the oldest climber moves follow. While spurring breath and energy left, the two climbers it is a generational step together in a single string. Exactly six hours and fifteen minutes from the start up, Paimo and Young climber made it to the highest point of Mont Blanc. They fly the Red and White. Pleasure mixed emotion, I capture the action of the two adventurers cross age. Be some climbers from the Netherlands who arrived almost simultaneously with our congratulated. They seemed happy to see us waving red and white at the highest point of Europe.

Below, in Chamonix, we are divided with the arrival excitement Vanaprastha chairman is present to give encouragement, "It is the success of the climb across generations. The success of depicting the spirit of Indonesia, Whispered that has senior and future generations, both have a high morale for the challenge. "We concurred statement  while thinking, where else would the mountain we climbed. As for Paimo, this new adventure takes place in part. He had to ride his bike along the route from Geneva, Switzerland, to the Den Haag, Netherlands. This time, my prayers are with him only.

Accommodation: La Cantina, 37 Dead Rhododendrons 74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc. T +33 (0) 4 50 53 83 80. F. +33 (0) 4 50 53 64 22.

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