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10 things I learned while roadtripping to Mont Blanc

“Travel is the best teacher.”

Together with some friends, I recently took a roadtrip to Mont Blanc. We climbed the highest peak in western Europe and then returned home through Venice 🙂 Here are the most important life lessons I’ve learned from this trip:

  • Spending the evening looking at avalanches and at rocks that are falling on the path you will take the next day does not help with the morale.
grand couloir

The Grand Couloir – if you look closely you will see the path that crosses the couloir

  • The wind is not your friend, never was … and probably hates you. Hence it will do anything to prevent you from reaching the top.
  • The best sunrises are up in the mountains. But sometimes to catch them you must set forth at 2 am, climb for two and a half hours on rocky terrain and pass the dreaded Grand Couloir (remember the rock falls at point 1?) in order to see it.


  • Do not exert yourself doing trivial tasks, like tying your shoelaces for instance. Make sure to take a break after tying the first one and catch your breath and then resume. Also, it might be best to avoid tying them at 4300 meters …
  • If you climb a mountain for the view you might end up utterly disappointed.
view from Mont Blanc

the amazingly awesome view that greeted us on the peak …

However, if you are climbing for the experience, testing your limits, seeing if you can conquer your fatigue, thin air and your inner demons you will end up having a great time.

me on mont blanc

Also, the skies might clear on your way down 😀

on the way down

And ever though you’ve reached the peak, you’re only halfway there. You still have a looong way back.

  • Some piece of equipment (preferably an indispensable one) will surely break, but you cannot tell which one. Also, the balaclava or other headgear can be used to hold the sunglasses with a missing temple in position.
  • The level of comfortableness of sleeping in a minivan is directly proportional with your fatigue level 😛
  • Muscle soreness can be cured by walking in Venice. However, it’s bridges will surely seem higher and longer and you will hate all the steps.
  • When you find yourself in Venice without a guitar, you can always buy one. Mille E Una Nota has a nice collection 😉 You do need a permit though to play on the streets for money. But for fun it’s free 🙂

guitar in venice

  • If, while walking late at night in Mestre looking for an open supermarket while a bit tipsy, you happen to see a sun flower by the side of the road, do not worry, you are not seeing things. The sunflower is real, as seen from the pic taken the next morning. However, the supermarkets are likely to be all closed late in the evening.


trip date: July 2015


  1. Maegan white · March 18, 2017 Reply

    I love the humor in this post! We went to Mont Blanc last year but it was too foggy to really see much and we were only there a day before heading to beaune, I also love the first and second points.

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