Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crevasse Rescue

We had very good conditions at the top of Grands Montets for a good crevasse rescue teaching day
Big open crevasse
Good snow for anchors
No wind

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alpine Rock Climbing

Alpine Rock climbing is about climbing long routes high in the mountains. It is even better when you can do these routes and have them all to yourselves. To do this in the Chamonix area at the height of the season is even better.

Roger Cunliffe and I spent 6 days together attempting to do just this. We even went on a road trip to the Aravis in Roger's magnificient Morgan Motor Car. Frustratingly the weather let us down and after the first on the pitch of arete de doigt on Pt Percee we had to back off. It was just too cold.
Weirdly the week had started with us complaining about it being too hot.

The highlights of the week were the Eperon Bayure which is situated in the Pas de Chevere. We also climbed in the Aiguille Rouge which has many fine climbs but none better than Kaboul above the Index at La Flegere. Truely stunning climbing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dom

What a great trip this was for Peter Little and I . The Dom is the highest mountain in Switzerland and has the biggest ascent from the road head of any mountain in the alps. 3000 vertical meters.
The hut walk is about 4.30 hours. Breakfast was at a grim 2.30am and the ascent was 6.30hours to reach the summit.

The descent had various issues because the weather was so warm and the snow bridges were like butter plus the crevasses were massive. It was critical that we had lots of rope out between us even so there were a few heart in the mouth moments as we sank through the snow sometimes up to our waists.

Mind you any rope is better than no rope. We came across a rescue. Some guy had set off to climb the Dom on his own. He fell in a crevasse. The Hut Guardian reported him missing. Air Zermatt searched the glacier , found his foot prints leading into a big hole. Two Guides went down the crevasses and found him alive but only just. He was air lifted to Berne to "thaw" out.

After the Dom Peter and I were quite tired, we stopped at the Dom hut for a huge pile of Rosti before making our descent.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

An Introduction to Alpine Mountaineering

I have just finished a great week with 6 very keen aspiring Mountaineers Andy Alistair Kirsty Julia Mike and Olivier.

On our first day we headed up to La Flegere where we spent the morning throwing our selves down the mountain side and learning how to stop using he Ice Axe. In the afternoon we climbed the Aiguille de la Gliere.
On Tuesday we headed up to the Mer de Glace where we learnt how to use crampons and had a go at some steep ice climbing.
On Wednesday we trekked across the Valley Blanche to Italy and the returned via the bubbles to the Aiguille du Midi.
On Thursday we had a very comprehensive day extracting each other form a large crevasse just below the Les Grands Montets. We finished the day by climbing the aiguille de Grands Montets and clambering over the railings and onto the viewing platform.
Our final day we headed to the Emosson Dam and climbed the imposing Aiguille du Van.
We all then met up for Dinner chez Seaton and finished with a football match in the garden.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Frison Roche Climb

I had a day off today so Andrea and I went to climb one of the most dramatic climbs which over look Chamonix. We took the lift up to the top of Le Brevent Cable car then ran down the snow to the foot of the route.
This was to be Andrea's first big multi pitch route. 5 steep pitches of grades 6a, 5b, 5c ,6a, 5c. complete with Rucksack. Not bad for 11 years old. We were back home for lunch

Perfect weather for a 1st visit to Chamonix

This is what Bob and Sue Rlloram got when they visited Chamonix to climb with me.
We had a very pleasant five days together sampling all sorts of alpine adventures.
On our first day we climbed the Aiguille des Glieres where we could get use to climbing steep snow and some simple scrambling.
Day 2 we climbed the Aiguille du Toule which over looks Courmayeur and has spectactular views of practically everywhere.
Day 3 We took the Aiguille du Midi cable car and we descended into the Valley Blanche before climbing Point Lachaenel.
Day 4 We were back in the Aiguille Rouge to get to grips with alpine rocky scrambling.
Day 5 With everyone feeling a little tired we opted for a day rock climbing above Le Brevent. This was Sue,s first ever rock climbing and I think she quite liked it.