UTMB – what an effort!

A friend of ours is competing in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) this weekend. 170km and 10,000m of climbing – an almost literal super-human effort. I say almost because every year around 2000 people start, and around 40% of them finish within the 46 hour cut-off. Running and walking through 2 nights, sleeping on rocks for a few minutes when required. Unbelievable!

We went to St Gervais and Les Contamines to cheer them on last night, came back, went to bed and had a lovely sleep. We are now preparing for bed again and thinking of the guys in some of these pictures who are still out there slogging away – “chapeaux”!

   
    
    
    
 

Climbing Mt Blanc: Under the stars and above the garden gnomes!

I have been keen to try stacking some star photos for a while now.

Last night was clear and moonless, and after a few nights of trial and error earlier in the month, I finally got a shot I am reasonably pleased with. These garden gnomes were bought as a joke wedding present and have since become very well loved! Above them you can see the trails of the head torches of climbers making their early morning assault on Mt Blanc.

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Back with a bang!

It’s been a while, but once again I am telling myself to get going with this blog.
We had a great storm a few nights ago so I thought I would restart with some lightning shots. This first one is actually from last year – it’s annoying that I didn’t catch all the lightning, but I did get enough for it to be pretty impressive!

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And here’s the recent storm, according to this page, the single bolt rather than forks is because it was a positively charged leader rather than a negative one – click the link if you want more science than that!

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Climbing in Argentiere

Views like this don’t come for free! We went for  a lovely ice climb / scramble from the top of the Argentiere lift system this weekend to be rewarded with this vista of Chamonix and its surroundings.

It felt very strange getting on the lifts with crampons and ice axes instead of skis but it was very enjoyable and the views were certainly worth it!

Climbing Argentiere Glacier

Serac fall Argentiere glacier

Climbing Argentiere Glacier

Climbing Argentiere Glacier