Nov 6-2011. I recently went to Europe for my first time. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. My favorite climbing book in our grade school library was a huge glossy photo coffee table book from Gaston Rebuffat. The birth place of the sport has called me and I cant wait! I had this trip planned for feb of 2011, but I got a surprise job offer then, and had to put it off.
The flight was quicker than I thought it would be, going through Iceland (13 hrs). I arrived in Paris without sleeping on the plane. Traveling alone, I jumped the metro train to Paris. Once I got into town, I went into the 1st info booth to get directions to the hostel. Behind me a great commotion started. 5 guys were trying to break through the glass doors that myself and another guy were enclosed in. The other guy was trying to keep the doors from breaking loose and glass was flying everywhere. They persisted and it was truly terrifying to watch. Eventually they left, and I found out they were trying to mug the other guy for his cell phone. The Police came and I left to find my room. “Welcome to Paris” the other guy told me.
My first run through Paris was great. 24 hrs in one of the worlds great cities was not going to be enough. The weight of the history pulled at my psyche tremendously. So many stories. I was glad I had Josh talked into exploring the place further at the end of my trip.
I had plans for Chamonix coming up and it was off on a plane to Geneva. This is where the trip first turned into a struggle. As Tom and I approached the N Face of Le Doites, I began to feel a cold coming on. Auto-bail at 2 am-> to the trains again. Too bad, as the weather and conditions were optimal.
On the train between Geneva and Zurich, my main large duffel was stolen from the luggage keep.. Stuck in Zurich to file a police report left me wandering the station all night . It was my 2nd night without sleep as I refuse to pay big bucks for a hotel in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Losing everything, being sick, and delirious from lack of sleep, I was ready to pack it in and bail a week early. It was up to Michael in Munich to keep me from cutting the last week out of my trip. Of course his stoke got me back on track. We had a great 3 days in the Innsbruck and Dolomite areas. Micheals Trip report on the Dolomites.
Gotta give big thank you to Michael and his family for the great hospitality I felt better staying with them at their place in Munich. They moved there a few years ago from Seattle. Miss you guys already.
After a few great days in Munich, sampling the bakeries, and 30 m climbing gyms, I was looking forward to meeting up with Josh in Paris. Nice to know I wasnt the only one who struggled with the trains. He jumped the wrong one and ended up in the slums before getting back to the hostel we were in in Montmartre. Over the next 3 days we did a thorough march on the city visiting the great sites of Versailles, the Louvre, and the Eiffel tower were just a few. I was particularly smitten by the amount of work it must have take to do so many vast great works. Despite its peculiarities, what an amazing place to travel.
Gotta give huge high fives to a few key people in this adventure!
Lane B., financier
Tom G. for a chance at Chamonix greatness as well as Davide for the connection
Jim at Pro Mt Sports for helping me replace several thousand $ worth of gear.
Michael S and wife Kris for every good day after the last bad one!
Josh for meeting me yet again in a crazy place
Thank you to Bill at NW Alpine for the salopette bib pants! They are the perfect weight fabric for the legs. They may still have free shipping. Let the winter stoke begin!