Tales of climbing yore | AspenTimes.com

Tales of climbing yore

I said, “With all due respect, you’re the one who got us into this predicament!”

“OK,” said Barry, “you can stay here and wait until you freeze to death.”

I said, “Barry, I would follow you anywhere!”

By the time we found the alternative route, we were two-thirds of the way to the funny-shaped restaurant. Probably the highest (in terms of altitude) that I have ever been without an airplane. The alternative route, to our surprise and delight, was a very steep river. It was so steep that it was almost a waterfall. Within the river/waterfall were huge rocks (they were the size of the bumps on Jackpot in 1973).

We simply hopped back down using the boulders as stairs. We were back in Chamonix in about 30 minutes. I haven’t been mountain climbing since. After climbing Mount Blanc in my tennis outfit, I feel as if I have nothing more to prove.

P.S. — Hans Gramminger taught me everything I know about mountaineering, which isn’t much.

Verne Gurholt

Aspen and Santa Fe

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