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Year 8 Student Climbs Europe's Highest Mountain

Trips and Excursions


Mont Blanc (4800m) on the French-Italian border was long considered the highest mountain in Europe, and in any case is only beaten by mountains like Mount Elbrus (5600m) on the European-Asian frontier.

Pierre Mills in Year 8 climbed Mont Blanc with three others on 12th August 2012. He climbed from 2000m-3100m and stayed in a mountain hut overnight before scrambling up 700 steep metres of rock to the final mountain hut at 3800m. On the third day, he got up at 2am, roped up and climbed the last 1000m in just 3.5 hours with crampons and ice axe to reach the summit at dawn. It was extremely cold and windy. Removing gloves for even a minute meant risking frost bite.

The team then descended the mountain right back down to 2000m with all the gear. The final 1000m up and the 3000m descent took 14 hours of hard graft.

Training had involved acclimatisation by camping in the snow for several nights at 3400m, climbing the neighbouring Mont Blanc du Tacul (4200m), and practising with crampons, ice axe and rope on glaciers and on narrow exposed ridges of rock and ice.

The next youngest person climbing Mont Blanc that day was 18 and he was also on our team. The majority of the 60 or so climbers summiting that day were experienced adults.

Well done Pierre, what a fantastic achievement at such a young age! 



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