06 Jun Mont Blanc Charity Climb
Follow our spectacular journey day by day, one step at a time as we climb Mont Blanc for charity.
The ‘Summer for Change’ initiative by Eton Institute focuses on raising awareness and funds for great causes for the entire summer of 2014; and the month of August is dedicated to breast cancer. We are collecting donations for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBFC), in the aim to educate women and support victims of breast cancer. The facts of breast cancer are alarming and we just knew we had to do something. These very facts were the catalyst for a breast cancer awareness expedition by Eton Institute.
Our CEO took on the challenge to summit Mont Blanc, standing at 15,780 ft. (4,810 m) tall, to raise awareness for this deadly disease. The Mont Blanc trek started on the 26th of August 2014 and will continue till 31st of August 2014. We will document his journey on our blog and share the details when we receive them, so you too can be part of the experience.
26th August 2014:
Our CEO arrived at Geneva Airport early on Tuesday. He then made his way to Chamonix, a town at the foot of Mont Blanc, France. He shared this picture and was also quick to mention that he won’t be taking selfies :). He did, however, promise to catch someone sooner or later to snap a picture with him.
Today is also the first of the three days of extensive training before he begins his summit to Mont Blanc. But things don’t always go as planned, especially not when you are preparing to summit to the highest mountain in the Alps! Due to heavy rainfall, the training couldn’t go ahead as planned. He informed us later in the day that the rain stopped at 5pm and he managed to train on crampons and ropes for two hours.
27th August 2014:
Day 2 of training. Today he heads up over 3000m for acclimatization training. Acclimatization training forces the body to compensate for the stresses of a new climatic condition. This is a vital aspect of training for Europe’s deadliest mountain – Mont Blanc.
He finally reached up to 3800m and then went down to 3200m. This again is all part of the acclimatization training. There are many dangers associated with mountain such as potential ice and rock fall, avalanches and crevasses; which is why extensive training and preparation is fundamental to successfully reaching the summit.
28th August 2014:
Today he will climb up 4200m and continue to train on Mont Blanc until Saturday. He is above the clouds already and the weather as he puts it is ‘finally cooperating’. Summit day will start at 1am on Sunday, but more on that a little later.
There are certain phases of the Mont Blanc climb that become especially risky. Later that day he walked a ridge 30cm wide with more than a 1000m drop on each side. The walk was for over 10 minutes and every step forward needed to be precise. There was certainly no room for errors here. He moved on to climbing a rock and ice wall that was more than 75 meters high at 3800m. He couldn’t take pictures, as you can imagine, his hands were busy.
29th August 2014:
Le Chapeau Du Mont Blanc is literally translated to ‘The Hat of Mont Blanc’. The name was given because when you look at the summit it seems to be wearing a hat made of clouds. ‘Beautiful to look at and deadly to be in’ is how our CEO puts it. His guide had explained that this indicates extreme winds that are difficult to survive.
30th August 2014:
Summiting starts today! The hike is for about 4 hours, shorter than usual but quite steep. Our CEO will have an early start tomorrow; sometime between 2:00 am – 3:00 am. The early morning hours help to avoid the falling ice and rocks due to the sun’s heat. It will take an average of eight hours to reach the summit and another six hours to descend. It will be a long day with more or less of non-stop hiking/climbing. The chances of bad weather are also quite high. Let’s wish him luck!
31st August 2014:
7:44 am. He reached the highest point in Western Europe. On the day of the summit, we were all eagerly waiting to hear the news. Almost an entire day went by and no one heard anything from our CEO. Finally when the news came in, we were ecstatic! This is what he had to say: ‘Even though there were many obstacles along the way including my water freezing and getting dehydrated, what kept me going is the encouragement and support I received’. He shared a picture adding that the summit was extremely cold and windy, making it difficult to even hold a flag without sailing of the mountain.
You too can save a life. Be part of this cause and help us raise funds and awareness for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click here to make a difference