Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Undiscovered Gem

This stunning photo was taken by Peter Little of what turned out to be an outstanding climb: The arĂȘte des Bouquetins pic Jallouvre above col de la Colombiere. Mind you the snow in the photo all fell the previous day and scuppered our attempt to rock climb in the Val Ferret Italy.
Fortunately We only had one day of bad weather and the rest of the week was anticyclonic and we choose to spend 4 days rock-climbing above La Flegere.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

From a Land Down Under

Michal & Mihaela came all the way from Australia on their European tour [unfortunately without the VW Combi] and stopped off for a weeks climbing in Chamonix.

They were pretty much new to it all, so we followed a tried and tested routine by starting on the Mer de Glace followed, the next day by a Traverse of the Aguille du Crochue [and a swim in lac Blanc]

On the Wednesday we headed into the valley Blanche, took the bubbles over to Italy and then tracked back through some monster crevasses and over to the Cosmiques Hut where we spent a very pleasant evening and enjoyed a few flagons of red wine.
On Thursday we set off up Mt Blanc du Tacul but decided to turn round because Mihaela wasn't feeling 100%

We finished the week with an ascent of the Cosmiques Arete - all which took place in perfect weather

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stunning Autumn weather for alpine rock climbing

Peter Folkman came out for five days alpine rock climbing. The forecast was indifferent but unusually it was revised in our favour and the weather just got better and better.
We started with a warm up climb at Brevent then the next day moved over to La Flegere and climbed Nez Rouge just behind the Index.
On our third day we decided to revisit the famous arĂȘte de Cosmiques as this had been Peter's first alpine climb with me some 15 years earlier. This was the spring board which allowed him to climb many alpine peaks including the Eiger, the Matterhorn and many others eventually leading to full membership of the Alpine Club.
With the acclimatisation of the previous day we were then able to Traverse the Entreves - a magnificent rock ridge which looks down on Courmayuer.
On our final day we opted for an easier option and returned to la Flegere and finished by climbing the elegant Eperon Sublime? Named after the famous route in the Verdon Gorge.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Dolomites

Charles Sherwood and I had a very good week. We started with a complete traverse of the Violet Towers in the Val di Fassa.
We then moved over to the Mamrmalada where we climbed the very long Tommasson route on the south face- first climbed by Beatrice Tommason in 1901. We sumitted to find a conveniently placed mountain hut complete with guardian who cooked us bacon & eggs for dinner.
We continued further east and based ourselves in Cortina for a couple of nights where we climbed some easier routes on the Cinque Torri before moving into position for our attempt on the North Face of the Cima Grande - one of the most sought after north faces in the world. We wanted to climb the Comici Route
Despite an overnight thunderstorm which left the top of the climb sopping wet we reached the top and just about made it down before dark. A big day.