Stone by stone, ridge by ridge, step by step by snow, driftwood, slippery rocky terrain, land, the much coveted contact with Mont Blanc, the highest peak of the Alps, came to 4810 m above sea level. There was no great euphoria at that moment, but feelings began to come to full force when thoughts settled and the heart calmed. Happy are those who are overwhelmed by these emotions, and this time this wonderful feeling touched Ivan Jozinovic (27), Slaven Grgic (54), Jura Rakuljic (29) and Zlatko Brkljac (27), mountaineers and mountaineering guides of the Gojzerica Mountaineering Club from Split.
From Zrnovnica, this four headed to Chamonix (France), the most important mountaineering center in the world, located at the foot of Mont Blanc, with the intention of making it the second largest European peak, the peak of everlasting snow and ice. The summer, full of positive energy, decided on this venture in order to expand their mountaineering knowledge, re-examine themselves, their physical and mental abilities and feel all the joy of discovering both this and some new challenges.
As they say, the idea was born in a cafe and it didn't take much for a specific deal. Organizational and financial preparations began, the most important thing was to prepare mountaineering equipment, crampons, cleats, climbing belts, good gaiters, gloves, glasses and helmets without which it was impossible to climb. The theoretical knowledge of the venture had to be adopted to some extent, but they were not in awe that they would “drink” all their knowledge of the journey and the expedition from the books… aware that it was only a drop in the sea in relation to what awaited them on that climb.
Arriving at Chamonix, he began to shed light on the idea. The very view of the surrounding peaks was awe-inspiring. They estimated that they were waiting, effort, composure, sweat and perseverance ... and they were right.
Slaven Grgić, is a long-time mountaineer who has already climbed Kilimanjaro (5895 m), and for whom this ascent is a wonderful life and mountaineering experience.
"It was not easy to climb this peak, not so much because of physical and mental strength but because of a lack of oxygen. The worst part of the trip was 200m below my Gouter home (3817m). I had to adjust, or acclimate, as my mental and physical abilities began to leave me. However, that feeling that overwhelmed me when I climbed to the top was perfect. I re-examined my boundaries, managed to push them, and once again beat myself. It is an invaluable feeling, and when that feeling was mixed and with the perfection of nature I had the feeling that I was in paradise. After this endeavor, I am a satisfied and fulfilled man and am already thinking of climbing Elbrus (5642 m), the largest peak of Europe or one of the Himalayan peaks ”.
A very similar story was told by Ivan Jozinovic, secretary of PK Gojzerica, a young man whose nature and mountains are implanted at birth with a heart. The desire to explore the mountains took him to Mont Blanc, and according to the gleam in his eyes as the story of this venture made it seem likely that only the sky would be his limit.
"This is my first demanding tip. Until then, I was hiking in the Croatian mountains where I gained experience, skills, knowledge. We opted for Mont Blanc because it is the closest one. For others, further climbs simply did not have the time and money, and given the experience, it was not wise to start with more challenging peaks. Throughout the trip there was positive energy, excitement, but also fear because we were aware that we were engaging in something unknown. At the beginning of the ascent comes the first obstacle so called. Death Tower, a very steep valley between two rows of rocks where a narrow path is to be crossed, and if a fall occurs it ends up on rocks or in the crevice of glaciers. A great risk is the fall of stones, which because of the slope gets accelerated and is a danger to passers-by, due to the rise in temperature. There were many similar dangers. Many new mountaineering moments happened, we had to endure all the effort and we endured, sometimes together and sometimes separately, depending on our current desires, we tried to be relaxed and open to new explorations. That sense of freedom was priceless, I could devote myself, my thoughts, and my friends. This is a great foundation for further ventures, next summer I plan on Elbrus (5642 m), Europe's largest peak. "
Every man who finds himself on such a demanding climb, and given his individual readiness and difficulty of climbing, wonders what he needs, including Jure Rakuljić (29), who started serious hiking more than two years ago when he became a member of the Gojzerica Mountaineering Club.
"I climbed Mont Blanc and am very happy about that. One of the motives was to see how my body would react at that height and at what time of day I would be able to acclimate because there are some genetic limitations that cannot be affected. There were times when it was tiring, stressful, sometimes a little nerve-wracking, but we managed to overcome it all successfully. The Gouter Lodge (3817 m) we stayed at was a five-hour walk from the top, and Slaven and I made a pilgrimage to him two days in a row. After passing the Death Cloister mentioned by John, a bigger problem arises. It was necessary to cross an almost vertical path from irregularly scattered large stone boulders and climb from 3167 m to 3817 m, while the crampons running through the stone blocks were a problem for us. When I got to the top I was not euphoric, it was cold and I didn't have to go back to camp soon. I would like to go to the top of Big Tooth which is also located near Chamonix, but this climb is technically much more demanding and I need to get well prepared in time. ”.
Zlatko Brkljač is also Žrnovčani, proud of his roots and hearth under Mosor, which led him to admire and love the natural beauty and the mountains. He began a more serious exploration in the French Chamonix, which he rounded off with the ascent to Mont Blanc, during which he became aware of his capabilities, reactions, behavior in unfamiliar conditions and was pleased to say:
"It was my first time in this part of Europe. I was curious to know how to handle and behave in unknown and extraordinary conditions. When I started climbing Mont Blanc I was technically inexperienced but had no room for error, aware that walking on mountain ridges was very steep, dangerous, and that even the slightest mistake could cost me dearly. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience something new, discover new opportunities, break boundaries, and change my mind about myself. I was happy when I climbed to the top, but I also felt some relief because many surrounding peaks had to be climbed before coming to the main one - Mont Blanc, and believe me, there were a lot of them and I wondered if there was an end to them, but when we climbed we had something to see, a million dollar view, priceless. I'm pleased with how I did this tour. My next plan? I'm going uphill! ”
When you go hiking, you hear different stories, you want to become a part of that environment, it is a challenge, you can taste that adrenaline ... It is technically, physically and mentally demanding, but this effort is under the skin and does not let go. These guys say congratulations to all those who have walked the same path because climbing requires unprecedented self-control, strength and perseverance.
Guys, good luck on your new endeavors, because in life it is most important to follow your dreams and have the courage to turn them into reality, and what is so magical about this mountain, dear readers, you can explore for yourself!