At Berg we’re familiar with taking on, and conquering, big
challenges and on the longest day of the year, Reuben Berg maintained this tradition quite literally by tackling the highest habitable building in Western Europe
Travelling with mountain Guide, Mark Seaton, the pair drove round to Gressoney, rode the lift to Punta Indren, got their skis on and skinned up to the Mantova Hut. The weather and conditions where perfect, and they were joined
by other skiers with the same idea!
The day after they both decided to climb the Vincent pyramid, with conditions much the opposite to the day before!
Reuben’s goal had been to climb up to the Margherita Hut and spend the night. The Margherita Hut is the highest building in Western Europe at a lung busting 4554metres, opened in 1893, dedicated to Margherita of Savoy, Queen of
Italy, who is rumoured to have been carried up to the hut on a sedan chair. Reuben and Mark’s climb up was a little more challenging to say the least, but despite sketchy conditions they made it shortly after the beer was helicoptered in!
On arriving, in addition to a cold pint, they also had the pleasure of meeting one of the guardians of the hut, whom a couple of years ago had climbed all the 4000 metre peaks in one summer.
The next morning, getting out of the hut was a challenge – with strong winds and zero visibility. After teaming up with a Swiss Guide and his client they managed to navigate through a classic white out. From then on the pair could really enjoy themselves
with a fantastic powder descent followed by spring snow all the way to the Punta Indren cable car.
Not one to go slow, Reuben and Mark finished with a ‘warm-down’ day of rock-climbing in Flegere.
Being imaginative and courageous are certainly part of
Reuben’s values in more ways than one!
Mark Seaton is an internationally-qualified Mountain Guide. He is a member of both the British and French mountain guides associations. He lives with his wife Jane, their daughters Andrea, Florence and Sophie, and their Bernese mountain
dog, Walter, in the Chamonix Valley.
He is author of the
Mark the Mountain Guide books.