Friday, August 26, 2011

The Glacier Boys

Arther Boulton was joined by two of his pals Fergus and Rory for an "Ecole de Glace" high up on the top of Les Grands Montets. What made the day even more exciting was finding an unexploded bomb every school boys dream!

Sophie Gets to grips with the Glacier

The Youngest Dangerous sister put her Dads 40 year old Mountaineering boots on and attacked the Glacier.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Madness Midges Munros

I spent a week visiting some of my old haunts with Francis Bridgeman and Chris Dovell. We started on Skye and climbed pinnacle ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean and only met four people all day.

The next day reverted to type and rained all day so we spent it in the Carbost Inn and Dovell drank 8 pints of Guiness but was still up bright an early the next morning for the ascent of Britains hardest mountain the Inaccessible Pinnacle.

Our last day on Skye the weather was so so- So we Climbed Bla Bheinn via the "voie normal". We then headed back to the main land taking the ferry to Mallaig.

Glencoe was our next goal namely the Anoch Each Ridge. This was something Francis had wanted to do for at least 15 years. Finally he got a clear rainless day and we had a truely wonderful traverse which arrived at the Clachaig Inn for a celebratory beer [ I had a cup of tea]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First steps

Jane and David were not so sure if they wanted to become alpine climbers but were determined to really find out if they could do it
I came up with a three day plan .
Like so often I choose for us to start on the Mer de Glacé which is the best place around to learn how to use crampons properly.
Our second day we went up the Grands Montets and climbed the ridge back up to the summit of the Grands Montets and finally over the railings and onto the viewing terrace.
Then on our third day we did what Jane and David wanted to do most: to traverse the Valley Blanche from the top of the Aiguille du Midi to Italy.
Three wonderful days which proved to them that they can climb in the alps and become "alpine mountaineers."

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A good foundation of skills is the key to becoming a safe mountaineer

So this was the idea behind last week. 5 friends : Their organiser Katie Cranlegh Swash, Fern Adams, Chris White, Richard Lewis and Chris Doman decided to come to Chamonix and get to grips with the basic skills that would hopefully underpin anything they choose to attempt in the future.

We started above La Flegere with some snow climbing skills coupled with some lessons in case the snow climbing didn't work as planned - Ice axe arrest. We finished the day with an ascent of the Aiguille de Glieres.

The next day we went to the Mer de Glace where we learnt the key skills of proper crampon technique and finished up with some steep ice climbing by climbing out of a crevasse.

On our 3rd day we put what we learnt into practise by traversing the Valley Blanche and negociated some daunting crevasses and spectacular snow bidges.

On Our fourth day we were hit by bad weather and had to retreat to the valley where we spent the day looking at rope techniques for crevasse rescue and alpine abseil techniques.

On our final day the weather came good again and we headed up the Grands Montets for a real live practice at crevasse rescue. We finished the day by climbing the Aguille des Grands Momtets and finished up its spectacular rocky ridge.