June 13, 2012 GMT
Glaciers and Big Decisions

I know the past few days had taken a bit of a toll as I wasn't up until 10am. I was going to take things easy, although this was slightly enforced as it was raining quite a lot.

I decided to walk up to the glacier and have a look around. I fashioned a rudimentary ice axe on the way up but the paths took me to a mountain hut. From here the views were fantastic but acccss to the glacier was impossible.

cham boissons glacier 2.jpg
The Bossons glacier below the Aiguille du Midi...

I wasn't too keen on the risks involved crossing a morraine valley with a few million tonnes of doggy ice above me. In the valley below they had constructed a kind of glacier catching dyke. It must have been 20 metres high and wide.

cham boissons glacier.jpg
The Bossons glacier...

So down I went, spending a few hours reading in the tent, whilst the sky emptied itself of rain.

I am rereading a great book all about probalility, luck and chance and how humans are very bad at understanding it. Apparently rats outperform humans in totally random games because we look for pattern. A lot of things in life are totally random, so often there is no pattern.

I finish filling my head with Pascal's Triangle and went into Chamonix to find some money and food.

Chamonix was nice, a bit like a normal town but with a mountaineering slant.

One thing that got me rather irate here, as well as in Zermatt, was the amount of Aisan tourists walking around with face masks on. Now my understanding is that people wear them to reduce the polution entering their lungs or because Avian Bird Flu is flexing its pandemic muscles.

I don't think you need a face mask in places like Zermatt, because all fossil fuel vehicles are banned and you are 1500 metres above sea level. The air is so pure, you can smell a fart from 200 metres away.

So lets explore the other posibility shall we? From an internet searh, it appears that no international pandemics are forcast. Imagine what I must of thought when I saw all these face masks and haven't looked at the news for a month.

Personally, I think face masks should be banned. A terrorist could be hiding behind one. But really, if I were to go around Zermatt shouting."Plague, Plague, the plague is coming"'! I would soon be locked up in a loony van (I bet they don't have an electric loony van in Zermatt), and helped into a straight jacket. The good afluent people of the town would not want visitors to think the Plague was visiting?

A quick supermarket sweep bought all the necessities. Back to the campsite to plan my next move.

Better weather is coming but I don't really want to do some of the big passes into Italy now, I have done enough. So I turn my head North West and in the direction of home.

cham camp below glac.jpg
It doesn't seem too close, and then it spits at you...

There are a few places in between I would like to see, but it is homeward bound. And to trumpet it, the glacier shoots a few tonnes off into the valley!

Posted by David Bailey at June 13, 2012 07:13 PM GMT

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