The Gustafsson family on the Gran Paradiso • July 12 - 13, 2011

Jon Gustafsson, his wife Hui, and brother Jerk all took some time in the middle of their Italian vacation to attempt a climb of the Gran Paradiso with Kathy. The weather most definitely did not cooperate. But they got an introduction to alpine climbing and the joys of hut life in the rain!

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And yet, in the beginning it all looked so promising! Starting the hike up toward the Vittorio Emanuele hut are, from left to right, Jerk, Jon, and Hui.


About halfway to the hut, in sweltering heat.


During a short exploration above the hut after lunch, we spot a small group of ibex politely ignoring our presence.


By dinner time it was raining hard. There was a brief lull around dusk, and Kathy dashed down the trail a bit for a phone call and a look at the views before they once again shut down in mists.


The next morning was too wet and stormy for our summit bid. But Jon and Hui and Kathy did get outside for some skills practice and exploration. Gearing up to head out onto the glacier, Hui is modeling Kathy's fashion gaiters by Caroline Parker.


Getting used to walking in crampons...


The weather did not allow any attempt on this peak, La Tresenta, but we did manage to hike up to the crest of the ridge where we were rewarded with some limited views.


We played with the ice axes and got some confidence sliding in the snow, before wet and wind forced us back to the hut and a nice cup of hot soup.


The weather let up for our descent back to the car, and then the heavens let loose on us in earnest! Ah well, the weather will do what it will do. We'll hope for better luck next time.