10th July Mont Buet

I got the early (free) train from Chamonix to Le Buet to have a go at climbing Mont Buet (3,096m). The town of Le Buet is at 1,350m making the ascent a fairly tough 1,746 meters. I decided on an early start as the weather forecast predicted thunder storms anytime in the afternoon. Again I believed the forecast because on Friday night it looked like aliens where trying to blow up Mont Blanc with white lasers. The sky in that area was cloudy but flashes of bright white were to be observed around the Mont Blanc summit area for about 2 hours constantly. It didn’t rain much but there was a lot of lightning.
So at 08:20 I set off for Mont Buet from Le buet train station using the very good mountain signs, and noting the first one saying 6 hours to the summit. I was not intending taking that long and I didn’t. Doing it as kind of a training run and speed being the order of the day, I was surprised that I met a French guy who asked me if I was doing a TMB training run as he was doing the same but on a different route. Maybe there are quite a lot of local people training at the moment as the race nears. I carried on with no navigational issues through a valley and up a rocky section, then a steep rounded ridge to the summit. Or at least I thought it was. It was actually a relay point for the emergency services. The summit was a little further across a small ridge. After 2 hours 35 minutes I was on it and asking a guy to take a photo to mark my first time above 10,000 feet (10,157 feet); without cheating with a cable car anyway (Bellevue to the bottom of the Grand Couloir). I descended in about 1 hour 30 minutes and made the 12:31 train back to Chamonix.
I watched the Grand Prix. Then later went to have a drink with Ali Welsh and a nice family whom he is guiding up Mont Blanc via the 3 Monts route. I enjoyed a couple of drinks and a chat, whished them luck and headed off to meet Vince for a Pizza and a chat. It would be hard to top that day on this holiday. A 10,000 foot summit and great company, if only Lewis Hamilton could have won at Silverstone. Ah well you can’t have everything.


Nick said...

Hi Alan,
You're having a whale of a time over there by the sound of it. Brilliant stuff. It's bringing back memories. I'll be there for a week next month for the UTMB - a second attempt and hoping to put it to bed this year.
Nick Ham.


Yes it has been good. I am leaving tomorrow for home, taking a few days to get there. I am also coming out for the UTMB. This time doing it the comfy way in a Hotel. So I may see out here when I return. If not Good luck with it.

lenneke said...

hi alan, i enjoyed your short story about the very quick ascend of the buet! being a steady but slow walker myself the fact that you caught the 12.30 train back again brought a smile to my face. am reading a bit on internet about the area and this was very refreshing inbetween the hugely long days that people took to reach the top. you make us look like turtles! congratulations on that excellent shape you must be in. enjoy your running, enjoy the mountains! lenneke