This time we beat ourselves to our own lazyness. Me and Seev started the day rather slow, so slow we actually missed the last cable car up to Grand Monet by 5 minutes.

«Half as bad. We'll be on the first one tomorrow — let's get some beer!»

So the next morning we ventured of to the spot we planed to set up camp. It feels good to be back on the Argentiere Glacier. But I can't help to worry, are my knees gonna be fine? Is my hand gonna work? And why the heck didn't we bring the skies? Turned out that there is nothing to worry about. As we reached our terrace, well a big more or less flat boulder sticking it's head out of the snow, we were exhausted from the snow stomping but there was no pain! A short break to catch our breath and back to the plan, setting up camp, melting snow, cooking dinner, by the time we finished, clouds came up and it started snowing.

4 o'clock — the alarm went off, but there was no view so we slept in. A good decision as it turned out. Around 10 o'clock avalanches started to go down all around us. we weren't able to see them, cause of the white out, but the sheer sound of them was enough to know you wouldn't want to get caught in this heavy wet mass of snow and rock. Navigation would have been a mess, when Seev was cooking dinner we heard the call for orientation of two deep frozen Italians that were trying to find the hut. That was good news — tomorrow must be good, when they take the effort to come up here.

2 o'clock — I woke up cause it got to cold to keep sleeping. The inside of the tent was frozen. The position i'm laying in isn't comfortable but I don't want to move. Don't want to risk it, but I know that eventually I'd have to move. At some point the numbness of the little spot that carries my weight is going to become so annoying that i wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything else but that one spot, it would start driving me nuts! Maybe if I turn to the side, and there it is again that thin layer of cold touching the skin, covering my body and letting a shiver loose. And the worst of it is that this position isn't any more comfortable as any other. There is no chance I can fall asleep again, so let's just keep breathing till the alarm goes off. At least the cold means that it has to be a clear sky! At 4 o'clock Seev brewed up a tee for now and the climb, a little breakfast and off we go.

There is one good thing about this cold, it lets us move faster over the frozen snow. The not so good thing, it is freaking cold I can't feel my toes anymore and as soon as I stop moving it start freezing. I need water, but the camelbag is frozen and it's a tick to sketchy terrain for a tee break. Slowly the metallic taste starts to build up on my tongue and I know the headache is gonna kick in soon. We just have to get to the saddle and there is a good chance to get some warming sun. It could be enough to unfreeze the camelbag.

We got up to the saddle, only to find out that the sun would take quite some time and the wind was certainly not helping. This is about the point were I started worrying about my toes. They don't even show the classic cold numbness feeling anymore. I need to keep moving, I need to get my blood circulation pumping, but it's also time to start belaying and it's Seev in the lead. Why does it have to be so cold, common this is all just in your mind! Just think of a warm place, a beach, the sun, a beautiful girl, some palms maybe? It's only as cold as you think it is. BREATH. The rope goes out, Seev doesn't have a belay yet, but I can start climbing. I feel like an ice cube in the freezer!

I quickly follow up to were Seev's at and there it is a wicket pitch for me to lead. What a perfect day. For a while I totally forget about my toes and the cold. I'm here on this ridge, a blue sky over my head and Seev having me save. There is a lot of snow on the route, but it doesn't matter. You brush it of till you find a hold and you keep going. To a point where there is no more holds, the last sketchy protection is a while back and more likely to pop then stay. Nothing but snow and loose rock. I try another way but there is nothing. It could hold, but more likely i'll fall to break my bones, there is not one solid rock under this snow and the little ice there is breaks to pieces as soon as I touch it. Trying to dig my way up, I have to face it. There is no way thru for us today. We have to abandon the climb, we have to give up and retreat. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to hit a wall, but sometimes

«to give up means not to give up»

My toes have been frozen for at least 8 hours beeing back in my sleeping bag massaging them, trying to get them warm again doesn't seem to help. Their just numb, numb and purpel. It is defenitly time to buy a pair of shoes in the right size.

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