Way to 13 000 ft dream – stuck at hut

In the morning we wake up according our plan. From my point of view, it is bit late, because it is already 6 am. Last night we have agreed with other people in hut, so all of us have warm breakfast at the same time. It is much easier for hut stuff.

First news is really bad. Vlado, friend of us, got altitude sickness. He is not able to go up. Most important question of the day is if he gets better or if it gets worse. With my girlfriend we are thinking what to do. Two of us cannot go up, Renata will not join us, because she needs to take care of Vlado.

We spend couple of minutes thinking what to do, but at the end we decided to stay in hut and see how situation turns out. Both of us believe, Vlado will be OK soon and he will be ready for tomorrow. It is pity, because today is good weather for ascent.

Day on hut goes very slow. There is nothing to do. We took couple of pictures, build small snowman above the hut and waiting for next day. It seems, that tomorrow will be worse. Vlado is not getting better and weather should be worse. I am really wondering what we will do tomorrow.

We are on the hut only couple ours, but I already know how real mountaineers feel, when they are waiting in “camp 3” for a good weather. I am totally sure, I do not want spend week like this. I am sure it would kill me, and I am here stuck only for couple of hours so far. Besides that, we are on lovely hut with Internet, not in small tent without connection to the rest of the world.

In the evening it seems patient will be at least in shape for descent, which is a great news. Renata will descent with Vlado to Orestes hut. Me and Lucka we won’t give up our dream. Tomorrow we will try to climb at least Vincent Piramide (4 215 m / 13 828 ft). Summit is basically right above us and it should be easy to follow glacier highway.

During the night I am waken up by strong wind. In the morning we will not go anywhere probably. We have to wake up early, as we were agreed for breakfast with others. Most of the people is getting ready for ascent. But nobody is really willing go out to the crazy wind. Slowly everyone starts hiking towards some of the summits.

With my girlfriend we go to glacier from other side, where it is much easier, but glacier is covered by crevasses. Some of them are clearly visible, some of them are hardly visible. I am sure lots of them we do not see at all. In couple of minutes we join path from Mantova hut. Most dangerous part is already done and we can keep going up.

We meet on women, who we know from hut. She decided not to go up and descent back to hut. She doesn’t like strong wind a from her point of view it is stupid idea to go up. For us it is warning, and we have to be careful. We want to try how far we can get. I have to tell I am not really optimistic at this point.

Few meters behind us are two guys from Spain, who fight the wind as well. There are couple of moments, we have to go down to our knees and secure our self by ice axe. I am more worried about my girlfriend. It should be super strong wind to move with my belly. On the other hand, if wind will be just bit stronger, my girlfriend will be flying in the wind like paper dragoon. Lucky me to have her on the rope.

Despite the wind we are going higher and higher. Guys from Spain are passing us. They are bit faster. We could be somewhere around 3 900 m /12 800 ft, where we have to walk on snow bridge between two huge crevasses. In nice weather this is lovely place for a great picture. In this strong wind it is not that fun. During wind blows, my girlfriend needs to almost lay down in order stay safe. Slowly I am getting closer to her, doing all my best to hold her on the spot. One of the Spanish guys is continuously falling on knees. Everyone is fighting own fight against wind.

Lucka is obviously far away from her comfort zone. Almost without a word we come to decision to go back. Slowly we get to safer place and star to descent. It is much easier than going up. In on part I am really surprised how steep are some parts.

To the hut we are not going with the path full of crevasses. We descent bit more and join the path where we went to the hut two days ago. Part when we have to go from glacier to the rock is really shitty. But probably better than the other path. On the via ferrata we met with Vlado and Renata who are going down. Going down to glacier is not a big deal, issue is to go from rock to glacier and to the path, which takes them down.

At least I can help them a bit with the rope. In reality it is more placebo, because they have all the equipment in back pack so my rope is just for their good feeling.

With my girlfriend we have decided to spend one more night. All kind of weather forecast are saying it will be much worse tomorrow, but we won’t give up of our dream. It is not a weekend trip to try it again, so we want to give it a shot.

Another day stuck on the hut. I have no clue what I will do all day. We sleep a bit, playing cards, cook some food, having a hot chocolate and doing this all-day long. Finally evening comes and we can go sleep. What a terrible day.

Next morning, we have to wake up early. Wind during the night was the worst one. I am sure it did not get better. In the evening we talked to other people on the hut and everyone is sure it will not get better. We are not going to try to go up and start descending immediately after breakfast.

We had last breakfast, pack all our stuff and start descending. I do not want to go with shitty via ferrata, therefore we are going other way. Before we come to crevasses we turn right a bit and after a couple of minutes we join the right path. Lucka is not happy about this path, but for sure it is best one.

In couple of minutes we are at Mantova hut. It is time to put glacier equipment to the backpack and keep going. We are descending pretty fast. Part with huge rocks is not that bad as I expected. In next couple of minutes, we can see Orestes hut, where our friends spend the night. It is time to send them text message and we will meet on one of the crossroad below hut. If they will not make it, we will meet somewhere lower.

They are not able to make it, so we are descending lower. They catch us up at Gabiet hut. From here it is about 500 m \ 1 600 ft to the parking place. After steep descent it start raining a bit. We do not care, because in less than our we are back to car.

At the end of our descent I start to be tired and I am slower then rest of the guys. We descent 2 000 m / 6 600 ft in about 4 hours. Happy to be down at parking place with next couple of resting days. It is Thursday. Vlado and Renata are going home on Saturday evening. we have plenty of time to come up with some plans. All of us are sure it will not be any hiking.

We are going to Como lake, north of Milan. This place is must see in North Italy. We found great place for 2 nights stay in lovely village. On Friday we are visiting Bellagion village, which is really nice and romantic. Small streets are amazing. It is easy to spend here couple of hours. Even bus ride to the village and back is fun.

Saturday morning, we are going to Milan. It is time to really quickly see city most important sightseeing. In the afternoon we say bye to our friends. They are taking Flixbus back home. Me and my girlfriend are planning next week of our vacation.

Weather forecast is not good at all. Therefore, we are going to spend next two days in Vens village, high in mountains. First day we are doing road trip to French Val-d’Isère with mountain road to Col de l’Iseran (2 764 m / 9 068). It is highest mountain pass accessible by car in Europe.

Next day is weather forecast much better and we are driving to Zermatt, where we will spend rest of our vacation. Driving thru St. Bernard mountain pass is great experience. Our base camp for the next couple of days will be Tesch village, next to Zermatt.

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