Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finally Lloyd gets to see a view

In July 2014 Lloyd Donavan came out to join me work six days climbing. It was without doubt the worst week of weather I had ever known since I have been guiding. So this year Lloyd came out in August with the "promise" that it couldn't be as bad as the previous year.

Well the first 2 days he was here it never seemed to get light and it rained stair rods continuously. The only conclusion was that LLoyd was cursed.

Then there was an improvement in the weather and we decided to climb above La Flegere. Cursed again - while everywhere else it was a pleasant late summers day we some how managed to find ourselves in a sandwich of torrential rain. We made a pathetic attempt to climb the L'Index but after 2 pitches prudence took over and we retreated.
Once back in the valley we enjoyed an afternoon climbing above Averyon.
Then we decided to leave Chamonix and go some where else. Italy. Our plan was to head to Gressoney.

We headed up to the Gniffetti Hut in zero vis.

The next day was different. Lloyd got agoraphobia because this is the first time he had see anything in a long while.

We climbed the Vincent Pyramid , the Balenhorn Coro Nero before dropping back down to the hut for a second night.

Next day we set of up to the Margherrita Hut ticking of the Parrotspitze and the Zumsteinspitze .

The food and welcome in the hut was as good as ever and we got a stellar sun set looking down on the Matterhorn.

In the morning we also got an equally stellar sunrise from the toilet window this time looking down on the Italian Lakes and Milan.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Return of the Collins

tSome times there is s long interval before clients return. In the case of Peter Collins and his two daughters Alice and Lucy it was about 10'years.
But return they did. Well at least Alice and her Dad returned.

Lucy had some how contrived to fall over playing net ball and was sporting a strap on leg splint. Not the ideal way to restart your alpine climbing career.

So it is as left for Alice and her father to climb with me.

On our first day together we climbed the Petite Aiguille Verte. Even this early in the season conditions had deteriorated because of the extreme heat wave the Alps is currently enduring.

It was felt that with the snow next ice conditions being so sketchy the most appropriate thing was to go and climb on some solid rock high above La Flegere.

This coincided with a change in the weather and we found ourselves climbing enveloped in a big cold foggy cloud . I felt distinctly under-dressed. Later in the afternoon having climbed the Eperon Sublime we headed for some rock climbing at Les Gaillands. The sun came out and we ended up too hot! Never happy.

On our final day we climbed the famous Clocher Clochtons high above Plan Praz at Brevent. This is a fantastic route with all sorts of manoeuvres, rappelling, lowers , and of course the iconic tyroleant raverse which it is so famous for.. The weather was beautiful. Just as good as when Peter and I had climbed it last time 20 years ago