I still not believe what happen to me last Sunday August 16th while being at Gouter hut: As everyone else I got up at 2.00am to prepare the ascent to Montblanc, after 2h our 3 climbers rope had already made the first half of the ascent, 500 m up at Dome du Gouter. My breath was difficult and after thinking about it not too long I decided to descend. At 6 am I was at the hut again and decided to rest in the cabin for a while. I left my headlamp and a bottle of isotonic water on a little shelf just above my head. At 8 am I wake up alone in the room and went out the hut to take some fresh air. I suddendly realize I left my stuff inside, so I decided to come back to pick it up. Guess what… The room was being cleaned up by the hut staff and there were no headlamp nor water. I asked Claude and Nadine Barnier (the guards) whether they found my stuff during the cleaning. Claude’s response was quite clear: “Bad luck, bad luck” – he said without even looking at me (he was cleaning something in the kitcheen). “didn’t you find anything? there was also a bottle of water?” I replied. Unbelievably, he picked up a crashed bottle he was about to trash, half filled with water and give it to me not gently- “here you are, is that ok?” – he replied crudely. I did not take the bottle and I did not say anything else, it was evident to me they didn’t want to return my headlamp to me.
You know, I like mountains a lot and so I do like mountaineers. I kind of dislike hut staffs that show too much their business side – if you climb up there, be aware of their prohibitive tarifs: bottle of water (5 euros), potato omelette (18 euros) – , but I hate altitude-thieves! I cannot understand how someone, supposedly a mountain guard, can behave so badly.