Because of work commitments this year I’ve struggled to schedule specific training and planning trips in advance. Between a job and another I still managed to squeeze two weeks in Chamonix. Luck was on my side and my friend Nikolai, who I met this winter in Norway, would also be in town and in need of a partner!
I left London Friday afternoon and drove through the night fuelled by excitement and Red Bull stopping only a couple hours for a short rest. I met Nikolay at his campsite – a great place to leave the car – and soon we were getting up the Midi with enough supplies to stay for a few days.
Nikolay is not only a great climber but a gear freak with enough equipment to support a small team in Mars. He had an amazing NF expedition tent and everything else we would need to stay up there, plus a humongous experience in all cold and ice things. We decided to call our duo “Hot & Cold” because to where we come from 🙂 This turned out to be pretty appropriate considering also how the temperatures would change in the glacier from day to night.
We spend the rest of the day digging a flat place to set up the tent and making ourselves comfortable. Straight from sea level and with minimum sleep I was ready for a horrible night with altitude sickness but it sort of went ok…