OTR: Ceri Climbs Gran Paradiso

“Travelling to The Alps to climb has been my goal for a long time and to be given the chance to summit Gran Paradiso was a dream come true. I started a Just Giving page to raise money for LATCH, a children’s cancer charity, as they helped me so much when I needed it. The response from everyone was incredible and we raised over £2300 in a month.”

“We started our climb from the refuge at 3:30am. We had to store snacks and camera batteries against our bodies as the temperature was well below freezing. The path led up past glaciers and zig zagged up steep snow slopes. By half way up, we were tired from the altitude and the glacier seemed to go on forever. We stopped as we neared the summit ridge the wind picked up and blew fresh snow into our faces. The ice got steeper and I found myself following the rhythm right foot, left foot, ice axe with a breath for every step.”

“We reached the summit ridge and geared up to traverse the rocky ledge before the summit at 4060 metres. The view from the top was incredible!  We stood there in silence for a moment taking it all in. The view looked down over the Italian, French and Swiss Alps. One of the best moments of my life!”

“The descent was swift as spirits were high. We stopped many a time to savour the view and congratulate each other. Back at the refuge we celebrated over a cold Orangina and agreed we’d all be back in the near future.”

Photos and Captions by Ceri Bain. (Photographs taken on a 35mm disposable camera.)