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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).

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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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