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Mont Blanc Ascent the full story

written by Rami Rassamny
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No one word could possibly define our Mont Blanc experience but if I had to choose a word it would be transformative. From the very beginning of the expedition the mountain remained an elusive dream. The weather had been relentless throughout the week leading up to the expedition and when we got to Chamonix we were told that climbers had been stranded at the high camp for days without any team able to reach the summit. Although we were assured the weather would get better, it didn’t. So elusive was the mountain that two days before we reached the summit we had cancelled the attempt altogether. But, we persevered. A mountain like the Mont Blanc, towering at 4810m, was never going to be a sure thing. She was always going to place obstacles and tests in front of us. We persevered and made sure that whenever the mountain gave us the opportunity to advance we would. Every step we took towards the top was a gift that we were blessed to experience. When the weather window finally did open up we were just outside the Tete Rousse hut (3000m). The plan was to stay there and wait for the weather but the guide determined that if we stayed we would not be able to pass the infamous Grand Couloir with the expected fresh snow at night and we would miss any chance of reaching the summit. The 11th hour decision saw us continue past Tete Rousse up to the Gouter Hut at 3,817 m arriving at 6:30pm on the 19th of September. Suddenly, the Mont Blanc summit became a very real prospect.
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We moved from the hut to the summit at 3am the next morning. We had already been warned of winter conditions on the ridge but we were determined to try. When we eventually summited at 7am on the 20th of September 2015 we were three of only twelve climbers who summited Mont Blanc that day out of an original one hundred climbers who left Gouter Hut for the summit. We faced a north wind with average speeds of 65 km/hr and an average temperature of -20 degrees celsius. It was one of most difficult conditions of the season and we were truly blessed to have experienced the summit on that day.
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Mont Blanc, on that day, was one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. The summit remained elusive even when we were only a few steps away. At anytime, we could have been turned around. At anytime the mountain could have decided that her summit will not be reached. We lived with that lingering thought in every step that we took and it is for this reason that we cherished the moment we were permitted to reach her summit. The mountain is only the culmination of our experiences on the way to the top. Every challenge, every set back, and every moment is what makes a summit. Mont Blanc taught us to persevere and to be humble. We did not conquer Mont Blanc. Nobody conquers mountains. We experienced Mont Blanc and we experienced her exactly as she willed us to experience her and for that we are eternally grateful. May we all live our experiences, learn our lessons and reach our summits.
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