Charlotte started day one with no transceiver signal for the simple reason that she wasn’t wearing a transceiver. Oops. Back to the hotel she went with Gavin to search everywhere. No transceiver. On opening her rucksack for a check, despite knowing it wasn’t there, it was the first thing she found. Charlotte is fast so she and Gavin soon caught us up so no inconvenience to the rest of us.
Mountain guides do not escape the curse of forgetfulness. I remember parking in the upper Ben Nevis car park after the long forestry road approach. Two clients for one of the great Ben ice classics. I took out my kit – no ice axes. A colleague after a particularly stressful afternoon finally made it to the top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Looking down at his feet he saw to his horror that he was still in his trainers. I could go on.
This was a bumper year for Dolomites snow. Excellent conditions and glorious weather enabled us to complete a magnificent six-day SW to NE traverse.
If I had to choose a favourite day it would be that which started with the sunrise breakfast at the Rifugio Lagazuoi. Next came the skin and climb on hard snow in the morning sun to the summit of the Ciadin de Fanes. The hard work done early we smoothed our way effortlessly down the shady N side before the long, beautiful journey down the Travenanzes Valley to the road. Travel on skis – Magic!!