Pink fluorite is one of the most wanted minerals of the Alps. Nearly every “Strahler” dreams of this precious raspberry coloured crystals. Especially the Mont-Blanc-Massif stands for wonderful fluorites, combined with smoky quartz. With the following abstract, I would like to take you to one of the most impressive expeditions I made within 15 years of collecting in the Mont-Blanc massif:
After 3 days of raining and waiting in the valley of Chamonix the weather finally cleared up and my friend Christophe Peray and I could start our climb to the Argentière hut, our base camp for the following days. After leaving the cable car at Les Grands Montets we were surprised of the big amount of fresh snow that was fallen during the last days – almost 50cm. We should have better gone skiing!
As it would have taken almost a week of sunshine to melt this snow we decided to visit an old cleft of Cristophe in the North face of Aiguille Verte. The characteristic of this place is the fact that you only can visit it if fresh and frozen snow fixes loose stones to the rock and reduces the risk of rock fall mainly (during hot weather it is impossible to visit this place!).
After starting at 3 o’clock in the morning we reached the entrance to the more than 1000m meter high couloir of the Aiguille Verte – a 60 degree snow field – during the morning gloaming. We climbed this very steep ice wall up to a height of 3600m and crossed afterwards into the rocks besides. At almost 10 am, after 150m of rapelling, we finally reached the old cleft. We both could start working in this very big old crystal cave (dimensions: 3 × 2 × 0,8m).