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Thursday 02nd 10 2008 12:00:00 AM

Pictures by Andy Main and words by Neil Mackenzie

Camping on the Col


Eventually we managed to hook up with Nick, our friend from previous alpine adventures, and the numbers were once again balanced (unfortunately Mark was still cursing his gammy leg!). Laden with gear, Andy, Warren, Nick and I set off at lunchtime with intentions of a short afternoon stroll before an assault on Mt Blanc du Tucal early the following morning.

IMG_0633 neil and nick approching point lnatinal copy

This stroll took the form of the Traverse of Pointes Lenechal, a small aesthetic series of summits guarding the south east flank of the Col du Midi, from where it drops down into the Vallee Blanche. Having set up home in a pre-dug open shelter amongst the ‘tent-city’ that is the Col, we tootered off towards Lenechal, enjoying the outlook and relative peace. The closer we got, the better the view of our main objective for the morning became and we had a useful chance to reccie the safest approach routes for the Tucal Triangle.

IMG_0642 warren and nick on point lnatinal copy

The traverse itself was very easy but the joy came, as with so much in the Alps, from the situation and with ratio to effort, this must be amongst the finest routes in the area!

IMG_0645 neil and nick main should of point lnatinal copyIMG_0651 cos arete copy

Stunning views over the Mer de Glace led to the Jorasses and beyond to Switzerland, over the Vallee Blanche lay the Torino hut with the Grande Paradiso standing tall behind and immediately before us stood Mt Blanc du Tucals North face! This was not to mention where we had come from; looking out over the Col du midi, our tent city resembling mere specs of dust underneath the awesome looking Cosmiques Arete.

IMG_0659 point lnatinal intial snow slopes copy IMG_0671 bergsrund copyIMG_0672 cravas copy

We were lucky to get it on such a beautiful clear day and once the bergschrund was dealt with we were back at the bivi spot within a couple of hours, hearts content and bellies rumbling! A quick brew, before cooking supper and, in order to retain warmth for the night , we were all swiftly tucked away into our sleeping bags! From the comfort of our bags we discussed trips past and future whilst the sun cast a thousand shades of red over the mountains as a weird inverted sunset effect highlighted the glory of the Matterhorn over yonder. Nice!.

IMG_0693 bed time on col du midi copy

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