Friday, July 08, 2022

Different climbing around Chamonix.


Aguille Verte& Dru. [see final photo]

Finally after failing to leave Canada for two years and having cancelled two trips, Stephen Kellock made it to Chamonix albeit jet lagged and tired.

Day1 The best shake-down route in this situation [or any first day ] is the Via Cordia above La Flegere.  It is in a stunning position and gives a nod to acclimatisation.  For someone who has not climbed in a while it provides some thought provoking momments without being too daunting. Once it has been completed the descent is made by chair lift and so the knees are not given a thrashing.

Day 2, Started with a poor forecast which claimed it was going to rain all day.  We were keen to keep some momentum up and gain as much acclimatisation as possible .  We choose to drive up to the Barrage Emosson and walk up the Bel Oseau.  This proved to big a good choice, not only did were we treated to great views, we stayed dry.

Lac Emosson

Day 3 . The weather was good .  We headed up to make the traverse of the Aiguille Chrochue, one of my favourite routes of its grade.  It was quite busy but we managed to avoid the queues with some secret diversions. We even got to swim in lac Blanc afterwards [Well I did Stephen produced some unsatisfactory excuses.]

Stephen enjoying the wonderful climbing

Day 4.  We headed up the Sky-Way lift into the Italian side of the VallĂ©e Blanche and climbed the Aiguille Marbree.  The conditions were far from ideal, as there had been no overnight freeze and the glacier bordering on being treacherous .

Me on the summit of something.

Day 5 Clear skies over night meant there was a freeze, which was perfect for our crossing of the Vallee Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi to pointe Helbronner.

  We returned via the spectacular "Eggs."

Day 6 We changed the emphasis of our climbing from general alpine climbing to alpine rock climbing. Yet It rained hard over night and was slow to clear the next morning so we started a little later and climbed above La Flegere on a  multi-pitch rock climb called Athena.  It was hard because parts of it were still wet and there was a strong wind blowing.  

Day 7  We headed upto  the summit of Le  Brevent and climbed Mic est Mousse.

Stephen on the final pitch of Mic est Moussia

Day 8.  Stephen had never climbed a via ferratta and so we visited the one above Passey. 

Stephen being great

view from Via Ferratta looking towards Mt Blanc

Day 9.  Stephen enjoyed the via ferratta so much that he was keen to do another one and so we headed up La Flegere one last time and climbed the Evettes Via Ferrata.

Oil painting of Aiguille Verte by Chris Boulton taken from picture at the top of this blog post.