Les Dents Blanches

June 24th

Start: Châlets Le Lapisa; finish: Refuge de la Vogealle (CAF)
Distance: 19 km (5 km along the frontier)
Time taken: 10 hours 30 minutes (plus 2 hours for the stops)
Vertical distance: 2200 m uphill, 2090 m downhill

Main summits:
Pointe de la Golette, 2634 m
Dent de Barme, 2759 m

Victor and I left the chalet at 5.00 a.m., our rucksacks heavy on the shoulders.  We planned at least one bivouac (without a sleeping bag!) and probably carried too much food.  A week earlier Victor had made a reconnaissance around the Dent de Barme, with a colleague.  They found a lot of snow and quite loose and friable rock;  their conclusion: the complete traverse of the Dents Blanches would take too much time and would probably be dangerous, if not impossible in these conditions. So we decided to limit our ambitions to the ascent of the two main summits, one at each end of the chain.  Which we did, at the cost of a descent of some 500 m in between.  On the other hand, the second summit was done without rucksacks. A beautiful day, magnificent views.  At the end, Victor persuaded me to go down to the refuge Vogealle another 250 meters below.  It was worth it:  comfortable dormitory and good hearty meal!