Gran Paradiso (4061m) – Valle d’Aosta – July 2014
Day 12: We had a leisurely 4.00am breakfast at the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele and waited for the bulk of the climbers to set off ahead of us (we hoped they would trample the fresh snow of yesterday and make the path easier for us!). The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and a cool shady ascent to the summit.
The summit was literally rammed with people and we sat in grid-lock on the exposed summit ridge for 20 minutes before we decided to sack it off and have a quiet elevenses further along the ridge a little way from the actual summit.
The views on the descent were equally spectacular though it got a lot hotter as the morning progressed.
We retuned to Rifugio Vit. Emanuele for a big lunch and a much needed long afternoon sleep.
You can hire a local guide for this trip from the local guides office, but it’s relatively easy for anyone with roped glacier crossing experience.
Author: Phil Newby