Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn is here

Autumn nearly always one of the best times to climb in the Alps. No one around and the cooler weather makes it much safer too. Wendy Crabb and I had three very good days together. On our first day we climbed my new favourite peak the aigullie du Van, then we climbed the aiguille du Toule on the Italian ridge of the Valley Blanche. On Sunday we climbed the long rock climb the Via Cordia. We saw two people on our routes the entire time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Patagonia blog features Mark the Mountain Guide

Just a head of the US release of the book Patagonia have been kind enough to review the book.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not enough snow to ski. Too much snow to walk the Haute Route

Stephen Yeates, Viv Hickman and Steve & Fiona Trantrum and I set off to try and finish the second half of the Haute Route. We took an extreme taxi ride to the door of the Chanrion Hut. This was no ordinary taxi driver check out the link. The next day we set off for the Dix Hut but had to turn round at the col de Lire Rose because there was too much snow to cross it safely. We returned to the Chanrion Hut and called the Dix Hut to let them know we could not make it. With alarming surprise the Dix Hut did not seem to grasp we turned round for safety reasons. Which suggests the Guardian knows little about mountains
We quickly came up with a plan B - called back the taxi and headed up to the Brunnet Hut which is run by a very strict women. The next day Monday we traversed to the Cabane de Mille which enjoyed spectacular views towards the Mt Blanc massif. On Tuesday we had a very pleasant walk into Liddes where once again we picked up our taxi back to Martigny for lunch at Plan Cerises.
On our final day we all went rock climbing in Chamonix in beautiful autum sunshine

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mont Blanc 4810 meters

I made a very rare trip up MT Blanc this morning. It was made very easy by having fantastic conditions a full moon and a super fit client Robin Tarling. [I put rocks in his ruck-sack to slow him down.] We arrived on the summit in just over 3 hours as dawn broke. It was cold so we did not hang around but raced back to the Gouter Hut for a well earned omlette.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pigne d'Arolla 3795 meters

John Eastgate and I climbed the Pigne d'Arolla from the village of Arolla yesterday. We drove round from Chamonix and walked up to the Vignettes Hut. It took about four hours and it was touch and go whether we got wet. After a pleasnt night we had the entire ascent to our selves and saw no one all day. The photo show the dramatic situation of the Vignettes Hut.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lots and Lots of Rock climbing

The weather went a bit bonkers so Roger Cunliffe's and my plan to climb the Matterhorn had to be postponed until next year. Instead we had some fantastic rock climbing. On our first day we climbed the Tichodrome near Martigny. On Tuesday we Traversed the Aigulle de Entreve. Wednesday we climbed in the Aigulle Rouge. Thursday it chucked it down so we did a lot of rope work. On Friday we climbed one of the best rock routes of the season on the lonely Aigulle du Van above the Emosson Dam. On Saturday we squeezed in the long climb Les Razmokets before it started to rain.