Chamonix, France -- You never forget your first time. Mine began around 5 o’clock in the morning, as we left the hut. Not quite awake yet, we climb slowly up the glacier, headlamps lighting the way and hearts fluttering with anticipation of the unknown. Up above, at the pass marking the border between France and Switzerland, a glare of sorts. An immense glacial cirque, a wide bowl-shaped hollow covered in snow comes into view, lit up by the dawn.