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Alpine Crossing 2013 – Day 15: Gran Paradiso

Today we got up at 4am… It was still dark when we started to Gran Paradiso. There were quite a lot of people which had the same destination today… At the beginning we were quite fast. At about 3700m my feet became quite cold – even if we were moving all the time… Lisa had the same problem. Exactly the same we experienced last year when we climbed the Finsteraarhorn. There we thought it was just because it was terribly cold that morning. This morning was different and still we had cold feet. Probably our shoes have a bad temperature isolation…anyway :) Up to the last 100m going upwards was like taking a walk in the snow :) The glacier was completely covered with snow and everything was frozen. So we had no troubles with crevasses. Also the height we almost didn’t feel. The last 100m were very steep and the panorama to the other side opened. We were able to see the Monte Rosa Massife and the Matterhorn. Unfortunately the summit was quite crowded. At the very top is a Madonna statue located. A quite narrow ridge leads to this statue and all the time people want to go to and away from the Madonna. From the ridge it goes downwards almost vertically…hard to say how far but if one falls down he won’t survive for sure. This was the worst part but we finally made it to the Madonna statue and back :) The descent was very quick and much easier. Meanwhile the sun came out and made the snow  getting soft so that we could partly slide down the way. At 12 o’clock we were back at the hut and enjoyed some pasta. After another hour in the sun we climbed down to a small Rifugio on 2000m. From here we will continue tomorrow :)

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