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Craig + Eric + Ken climbed to the Refuge des Grands Mulets hut (3051m) from the Plan d'Aiguille lift (which is the "mid-station" of the Aiguille du Midi lift from Chamonix. Our goal was to sleep at the refuge and next morning climb the Dome du Gouter and ski down the "old normal" Grands Mulets route. It turned out that just getting to the hut was a spectacular tour in itself - (but then going back the same way the next day was much less fun)

Eric + Craig climbing up from the Plan d'Aiguille lift

long traverse going southwest under the Aiguille du Midi

high telepherique

the tormented Bossons glacier -- getting across it is the crux of today's tour

ahead to the Dome du Gouter and Aiguille du Gouter, above "la Jonction" -- the (slightly less?) crevassed zone where we will cross the tormented glacier - [nice to see that ski track in ahead of us thru those crevasses -- but where are the crowds of skiers?]

up to the north face of Mont Blanc du Tacul, which Eric + Ken climbed a couple of days before (but not starting from this low)

coming into the Jonction

Craig climbing thru the Jonction, with Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit above

northeast back to our traverse from the Plan d'Aiguille lift

north ridge of the Dome du Gouter (4304m), which we hope to climb tomorrow

north to Mont Buet and the Aiguilles Rouges

Eric boldly passing in front of a giant mammoth

skiing up toward the Grands Mulets rocks and Dome du Gouter

almost to the hut: Refuge des Grands Mulets (3051m) -- but getting to dinner and bed still requires the skill and strength to make it up an exposed "via ferrata" climb on steep rocks with a chain to hold onto.

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