Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three climbs in three days in three countries

Scott Todd contacted me. He lives in the USA but his job had sent him to Germany for 3 months and he was keen to do some sort of climbing- any sort of climbing while he was in Europe.

So Scott arrived in Chamonix having left Stuttgart at 4.00am. We set off to climb at les Chesery above Argentiere. We had perfect weather and we thought we were climbing well until we were brought back down to earth when we were followed up the route by a hooved animal!A mountain Goat.

We finished by climbing the iconic Aguillette d' Argentiere.

On our next day the weather was indifferent - raining hard in the morning with an improving forecast so we took the gamble to head to Switzerland where the weather was good and we climbed The outstanding Pantagruel at Les Trappistes crag one of Olivier Roduits many outstanding routes .

On our 3rd day the weather forecast was good- I suggested to Scot that we head through to Italy to climb the stunning Bucce d arancia at Arnad. What I hoped it would be a fitting end to our 3 days together. Well we left a sunny Chamonix drove through the Mt Blanc Tunnel to be greeted by misty miserable weather [ not what the forecast predicted] By the time we arrived at Arnad it was raining. Anyway not to be deterred we set off up the climb - Needless to say we were alone. Fortune favours the brave and it stopped raining and we had amazing climbing

Until it started raining again. We had climbed all the difficult pitches and what should have been simple was not simple in the lashing rain and so we decided to retreat by rappel. This was surprisingly simple if not a little wet and muddy.
But all in all Scott got a pretty good taste of multipitch rock climbing in the Chamonix and surrounding areaa and he has promised to return ..

Monday, October 06, 2014

Aravis offers great climbing oppurtunities especially at the end of the season

There is no doubt that if you hit the right weather late September early October can be the most beautiful time to be in the alps.
Peter Folkman arrived for few days climbing. On our first day we climbed the new route Princess which is the final trilogy of the long routes on Les Rochers des Mottets. This is the hardest and probably the best of the three routes , but I made a note to my self not to try and climb it when its damp.. Slippy is not the word.
On Tuesday we set off for the Aravis mountain range but it started raining and we had to abort plan A . Luckly it did stop raining and we managed to have a very good afternoon climbing at Les Gaillands.
On the Wednesday the weather was good and so we headed to the Col de la Colombiere where we climbed the long and remote
Arête des Bouquetins on the Pic de Jallouvre
On the Thursday we returned to a different part of the Aravis - the col des Aravis , for the standout route of the area which must have one of the most photogenic ridges anywhere L'Arête à Marion on the Pointes de la Blonnière. Mind you the approach is relentless and hour and halfs slog up a stoney slope with only a vauge path to follow.