Masses of fresh snow has fallen in the alps over the last few days putting the higher peaks out of condition. However, there is still plenty of cragging to do.
Today (sunday) we have climebed on Bionnassy Crag near Saint Gervais. This is a great venue for those operating above 6B. The weather has begun to to get quite poor in the mountains with lots of snow forecast. However, this should not prove too much of a problem as there are many crags near Saint Gervais Les Bains (were we are based) that stay dry in the rain.
On thursday the 10th September Greg and i climbed the Petit Clocher Du Portalet via the South East arete (ED-, F6B+). This is an amazing rock spire near the Orny hut. The rock is perfect, the route was dry and there is a newly equiped abseil line straight down from the summit back to the bags. As well as the south east arete, there are many other good lines on all the other faces.
Greg and i had a slightly easier day climbing with some friends at La Duchere crag near Les Contamines Montjoie. This is a great gneiss crag with routes upto 5 pitches in length from F2 to F7C+. It was our third rock type in 4 days.
Greg and i have had a great few days climbing in the French Alps.
While the weather was still unsettled we climbed a great F7B at Secteur Des Thermes. All the routes at this Sectuer in the Parc Thermal at Saint Gervais stayed dry in the rain.
On suday the 6th august Greg and i climbed the Aiguille de L’M via the Menegaux route (TD). This gives an excellent crack climb at about E2 5C, AO and is dry at the moment with a minimum amount of snow on the ledges.
On monday the 7th we headed up to the south face of the Midi and climbed Le Contamine (TD+). This gave a very hard crack climb at about E3 6A, A1 but would go completely free at about E4 6A/B. The crux pitch was wet at the exit from the difficult ground which made things interesting.
The Rebuffat route on the South Face can not be started direct at the moment due to the bergshrund but can be started via Le Contamine.
More photos can be seen on Greg Boswells site.
Greg and i have returned to the Alps. It was a bit of an epic journey with the car breaking down! A good test for our french.
Wednesday the 2nd we climbed at Secteur Des Thermes at Le Fayet. The weather is a bit wet at the moment so this is great crag to go to as many of the routes are perma-dry. The crag is a 20 minute drive from Chamonix. We will probably head there today also as it is still raining.