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dont_do_it_doug.
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I've just signed up for a 12 day mountaineering expedition. 7 days in Arolla, Switzerland for training and a climb up a couple of baby mountains (hopefully including Tête Blanche, the view of the Matterhorn is meant to be inspiring to say the least) before jetting off to France to climb this **** below

Le_Mont_Blanc_de_la_Roche_Parstire_delta.jpg

That be Mont Blanc Massif, the highest peak in Western Europe. Looks pretty doesn't she? Mont Blanc has claimed more lives than any other mountain, partly due to it's popularity and partly down to foolish types who think it's a walk in the park. Frankly, I doubt it.

For me it's just the start of a long long journey, a decade long one culminating in stepping foot on the highest peak the Earth has to offer, no prizes for guessing. I'm starting to put together a plan. After Mont Blanc I'd like to go somewhere like the Mera Peak or maybe, hopefully, the Ecuador Volcanoes for my first serious taste of altitude....

pichincha_crater_512.jpg

After that, the top of the world is my oyster. I'll be joining the 6000ers, 7000ers and then the big boys before you know it. Basically, this is huge. It's going to dominate the next ten years of my life and I can already smell it. I'll hope to keep this thread up for that long and come September I'll be posting some page widening pics of my own no doubt.

The training has begun. I'm strong, carrying a little timber but I'm on my way to my "peak". Anyone with experience feel free to fill me in. The journey begins here!

Gulp....

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As someone who was airlifted off the himalayas with altitude sickness my advice would be listen to the warnings and if you feel sick go down the mountain sharpish... Without dramatising it to much I'm lucky to be alive and but for a villager who diverted my guide to a Gamow bag chances are I wouldn't be here( a woman dropped dead in the same village the day before i was there because they couldn't get her down the mountain quick enough and her guide didn't know about the Gamow bag ) I'd lost consciousness by this point so my mate told me how close I'd been the next day

I've been hiking at higher altitudes now (coatapoxi Equador and toubkal Atlas mountains )but I take diamox and spend extra time acclimatising... Can get diamox off the web without perscription from doctorfox(but read the small print first before putting yourself on them )

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As someone who was airlifted off the himalayas with altitude sickness my advice would be listen to the warnings and if you feel sick go down the mountain sharpish... Without dramatising it to much I'm lucky to be alive and but for a villager who diverted my guide to a Gamow bag chances are I wouldn't be here( a woman dropped dead in the same village the day before i was there because they couldn't get her down the mountain quick enough and her guide didn't know about the Gamow bag ) I'd lost consciousness by this point so my mate told me how close I'd been the next day

I've been hiking at higher altitudes now (coatapoxi Equador and toubkal Atlas mountains )but I take diamox and spend extra time acclimatising... Can get diamox off the web without perscription from doctorfox(but read the small print first before putting yourself on them )

Pretty awesome experience though no? Life changing I would guess.

Believe me, I'm not going in to anything blind. I've read the numbers. Up to a thousand have died climbing Mont Blanc alone. The company I'm starting with, Jagged Globe, are renowned for their professional attitude and their safety record.

It's a long process. I'm treating it with respect. With regards the biggie, only 90% make it up and down alive. I might die and I realise this. But if I'm in the best physical and mental shape my 5 foot 7 inch frame and dwindling IQ can take then I fancy my chances.

Coatopaxi is 5,897m high (yes, I Wikied the shit out of it). That's not too shabby mate. I'm interested in what kind of clothing I should wear for my trip? I'm thinking thermal baselayer, lightweight fleece and a softshell? Have no idea on trousers either.

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Toubkal was hiking all be it it was covered in knee deep snow and I needed crampons to get up ... and though it was only 4150 m it was bloody hard work .. The last 1000m were very steep in places , if you slipped the only thing to stop you would be the bottom.... lack of oxygen makes it a case of mind over matter...you kinda have to want it ( my 2 mates didn't do coatapoxi as they didn't want it as much as I did , when they stopped for a rest I could see in their eyes they weren't going to carry on so I asked them if they were OK with me going on without them )

I only did the refuge at 4800m the summit was covered in snow when we went and needed some proper equipment .. I was only on a day trip so in shorts and t-shirt

Despite my recent weight gain since I retired from athletics and football I'd class my fitnes as quite good ( I did the 3 peaks with no problem) but seriously that altitude makes you breathe like darth Vader and I find it hard going ..

Personally I find it's best to wear loads of layers , can get some lightweight and thin windproof base layers in snow and rock and they are perfect for keeping you warm ... Then get these sweatshirt type tops that are breathable and smell proof (the brand escapes me at the mo )You'll end up sweating a lot and taking some layers off but personally I prefer that to thick clothing ... Socks are the most vital thing for me not just warmth but comfort and anti blister ... It hurts paying £30 for a pair of socks but for me it was the best money I spent ( though Im hiking rather than climbing as you will be )

Just writing this is giving me the urge to go hike up a mountain , the fresh air , the quietness , the sense of achievement when you reach a summit ... Im quite jealous of you right about now , Make sure you update me of your progress and good luck with it all

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Cheers Tony will do. Im with you on the multiple layers thing though its hard to strip them off when you're wearing all the gear I would think. The clothing conundrum is starting to seem harder than the giving up ciggies bit!

Can you recommend a decent mid budget brand?

You should come with mate.

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Believe me, I'm not going in to anything blind. I've read the numbers. Up to a thousand have died climbing Mont Blanc alone.

Absolutely fair play to you mate and I wish you the best of luck with it all, but I'd have to put this in the 'things you don't get' thread.

I'm not doubting the feeling of accomplishment, achievement and the enormous sense of pride you must feel, but for me, none of that could possibly be worth risking my life.

Out of interest, the people that rescue people from mountains, are they keen mountain climbers themselves or do they just rescue people? I just picture the same fireman climbing a ladder to get that same cat out of the tree over and over again. :lol:

As I say, good luck with it anyway. Keep us updated!

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I just picture the same fireman climbing a ladder to get that same cat out of the tree over and over again. Laughing

:-)

my rescue cost Amex close on £3.5k

I've often wondered how they will feel If I ever have to get rescued again due to altitude sickness ... I renew my policy with them every year ( i sort of feel I owe them :-) ) and they haven't specifically said stay the **** of mountains

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Go for it, I did a fair bit of rock climbing and a little mountaineering years ago, got to Annapurna Basecamp and up around 16,000 ft into Langtang in Nepal, Did some climbing in Yosemite, N Wales, the Lake District and in Bavaria, I always wanted to do something bigger myself, I liked the big granite walls like up in N Pakistan, as well as here in places like the Bugaboo range. awesome stuff. Had bigger plans than anything that got done in the end but had a lot of fun and met some great people doing it. Got married and haven't put on any climbing boots in years now.

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I'm interested in what kind of clothing I should wear for my trip?

Bermuda shorts, a Frankie says relax t-shirt, a scarf (I know t-shirts and scarf's are the uniform of the spaz but it could be cold up there), some flip flops and a hat with corks dangling by bits of string.

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I'm interested in what kind of clothing I should wear for my trip?

Bermuda shorts, a Frankie says relax t-shirt, a scarf (I know t-shirts and scarf's are the uniform of the spaz but it could be cold up there), some flip flops and a hat with corks dangling by bits of string.

Just for you I'm going to summit Mont Blanc and reveal a Frankie Says Relax t-shirt. You can get **** if you think I'm going to be stripping my jacket off at the top of Everest for you though!

Training going well. It's amazing how quickly the human body can get into decent cardiovascular shape.

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I've done Everest Base Camp, and whilst amazing it put me off ever wanting to climb Everest, (which I'd wanted to do since I can remember)

Altitude sickness?

Yeah but just the little things, I couldn't sleep, would literally wake up every 2 minutes with a mouth dryer than Oscar Wilde. Had no appetite at all, which meant I lacked energy towards the end as I wasn't eating. I reckon I'd be a liability from 6k upwards

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