I was fortunate enough to go climbing with my dad & his guide, Andy, on Tuesday on the Aiguille Du Midi Cosmiques Ridge.
It all started at 5am when I had to get up soooooooo early in order to be on the first cable car up to the Aiguille Du Midi. There were so many other climbers all going on their different routes at the cable car station – this meant our cable car was full to the brim, quite literally, there was 60 people + the operator on board. This is the maximum amount of people for the Aiguille Du Midi Cable Car, so we were packed in like sardines, and it didn’t help that everyone had a rucksack with equipment too. 😫
We took 2 big cable cars in order to reach the Aiguille Du Midi station, and it was here that I began my adventure of Cosmiques Ridge. I have done this type of activity once before, on the Breithorn in Zermatt, Switzerland last year, but as I hadn’t done it in a while at first some of the concepts (such as walking with crampons) were very strange!
Straight away, I got plunged in the deep end as to reach where we needed to go/ be you have to go on ‘the famous’ ice arête of the Aiguille Du Midi. Dum, dum, dum… Immediately, I had to get used to walking with crampons, which, I have to admit, I struggled with a little! I am quite good with heights, but the ice arête was probably my limit; sheer drops either side along with walking downhill (I felt as if I was going to slip and fall… 😫). But seriously, looking at what I did now, I think it was an AMAZING experience/ opportunity- not many people have climbed on an ice arête at age 14!
Once we were finally off the ice arête, my heart rate steadied and my breathing slowed. I was able to look at the picturesque views surrounding me, and they took my breathe away! I’ve never seen something so spectacular 😀. We continued on the Geant Glacier and I think this was probably my favourite part – I love walking on glaciers!
Soon, we came across a MASSIVE crevasse and honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen one so big! It was very nerve-racking crossing it as I was super worried I would fall down the crevasse, even with our rope system connecting us (if one of us fell down a crevasse, the rope system would enable us to help pull the person out). About 20 meters ahead, we had to cross another crevasse. This was harder to cross as there was a snow & ice ‘bridge’ across it. I don’t remember being scared whilst crossing this crevasse though, for some weird reason; I think it was because lots of people had done it before me and as you could see icicles dangling on the inside of the crevasse, so I was fascinated by them! 😍
We continued on the glacier until we reached the point where the rock started. We had to walk for a little on the rock with crampons, and it was so funny as I managed to somehow get my crampons stuck together and I ‘slid gracefully onto my front’, not! It was very funny – you should’ve seen me!!!
Once our crampons we’re off for good, we started our ascent on rock! For me, the rock climbing was the hardest bit – I say this because physically I’m not very strong! 💪 I also find walking on glaciers sooooooooooo cool and I absolutely love snow/ ice. We climbed up a couple of hundred meters or so until it was all going very well until… I had to abseil! As I’ve previously said, I’m quite good with heights, but this was on another level; I felt queasy and I’ve not known my legs to shake so much. You basically go onto this rock jutting out and it’s so scary because there’s a sheer drop under that, and you’re expected to abseil off! Luckily I managed it, but it was tough!
Once again, we started an ascent, and we went up and up and up!! This was until we reached the place where we were having lunch, only a couple of meters before the finish!
(Sorry that the picture’s a little blurry!)
I was super proud of myself for finishing Cosmiques Ridge, it is an amazing achievement for me, and I had the best time – there was definitely not a moment to forget!
Have you done anything similar to Cosmiques Ridge? Have you ever walked on a glacier? If so, comment below!
Lots of love,