Rush hour on Mont Blanc!

Jerome Maupoint reflects on the big day in the Alps... 

This big Mont Blanc day felt strange to me. In 2003, I had no friends (on Facebook)—nobody called me! In 2009, I flew over on the right day, but at 8000m in an Airbus A319...grrr! Last year, i got nervous and impatient, and I finally missed the famous elevator to Bionnassay peak. On the 18th this year, the day before the big one, I was touching it but I opted to head to France when I reached a turbulent zone at 4400m over the Freney pillars. The 19th of August was The Day for me, and moreover, for hundreds of us! I told myself, "Damn, now I'm finally here and I get disturbed by the crowds!". But this collective craziness around Mt Blanc was magic. I could hear the people who'd top landed, "Eh! You’re here too...and you...and...". It was certainly not the silence of the chapel, but we were all there on the roof of a beautiful cathedral!

And, thanks to Facebook, the friends were all there, the true, the false, the virtual...after 2 hours flying over and around the summit, I realised I had forgotten to get the shot of my shoes with the "Blanc" in the background, Xavier Murillo's favorite image. Murillo, a friend who was really missed today. Later, I also thought, "this is strange, it's not an official shooting, but all the GIN range were in there at 5000m!

So, there it is, it's done. And, like each magical moment in paragliding, it will feed my dreams until the next epic day. It will hopefully be shared with friends again, but next time on another mountain!


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