The Sky’s The Limit for Summit Mont Blanc Team
Alistair Galloway recounts the recent Mont Blanc climb which RG Group sponsored in support of a number of charities.
“The summit MB2020 team are really proud to have made the Summit of Mont Blanc. We discussed this trip nearly 2 years ago, and originally booked to go in June 2020. Because of Covid-19 we had to readjust and reset our goal, and in September, we made the trip to the Alps, to acclimatise at 3300m, and then undertake the long day of climbing up to 4,810m (15,000ft), to the top of Mont Blanc (the highest point in Western Europe).
“The trip involved three days acclimatisation in the Alps, getting used to having just 67% oxygen, and practising scrambling and climbing over some hairy rockfaces, in our heavy boots and crampons, while roped up to the guide and other teammates.
“On the day, we started in darkness, crossing The Grand Colouir (an area known for serious and unannounced rock falls), we climbed 600m vertically from the Tete Rousse Hut to the Gouter Hut, and then spent 3-4 hours climbing up over the snowy landscape, in a cold wind, and clear skies. temperatures were between -11c to -20c. Above 4300m, we could really feel the effects of altitude, slowing our movements and forcing us to use some in-built determination to keep going.
“On top of the mountain, we spent a few minutes taking in the panoramic scenery, and 360 degree views across the top of Europe, we were above the clouds, the sun was shining, and while it was bitterly cold, we could see the peaks of mountain tops poking through. We were so proud to be up there and achieve our goals. We were especially proud to be holding the RG flag (which I carried in my pocket all week), as a reminder of a trip to a climbing wall earlier in the year with RG site staff from London City Airport, and also as a reminder of RG Groups’ kind sponsoring of our goals and charitable efforts.
“They say ‘what goes up must come down’, and we took around 3 hours to descend to the Gouter hut, and reached there about 4pm, 11 hours after we had set-off in the morning. It had been a long and arduous day, of new experiences, and we were all so happy to have made it safely down. On the way back we experienced crevasses and a white out, as an impending storm approached. It was by no means an easy trek, but a climb which taught us to respect the mountains, nature and the outdoors, and reinforced the reliance on team-work and an individual’s own determination and our knowledge practise of key climbing skills.
“Thank you to RG group for all your support throughout!”