As happens often with the best adventures I was invited on the trip at the last minute - the day before we set off - to make up a 3 man team with Benoit and Denis. My French is still not great, although it is improving, and Denis's English is at about the same level so Benoit had to act as translator a lot of the time.
Day one was the easy day - we caught the last lift of the day up the Aiguille du Midi at 6pm, then had a pleasant ski down to our campsite at the Col du Midi. There were ten or fifteen tents there already as this is a popular spot in high season. Weaving through tents on skis was a new experience for me. Then tent up, cooking and sleeping. Denis had opted to spend the night in the more expensive luxury of the Cosmiques Refuge, so we had a quick discussion of our starting time before he departed to warmth and a waiting cooked meal. We decided on a relatively late 4am start to allow the snow time to soften before our descent.
|Camping below the Midi|
|Col de la Brenva|
|Looking up to the summit - 500m vertical to go|
|Benoit on the summit|
|Denis and myself on the summit|
|Benoit dropping in on Mt. Maudit|
All that remained was to pack up the campsite and make the final climb up to the cable car station where we had the chance to look back up at our tracks whilst waiting for the lift. Not a bad day's skiing for the start of August.