Valais and Mont Blanc Massif

I have just spent 6 days with Sam, Richard, Fred and Frost Guiding. Here are the details of what we did;

  • Day one. Ecole de Glacé on Moiry Glacier. Overnight at Moiry Hut.
  • Day two. Pointe de Mourti in good conditions.
  • Day three. Crevasse rescue on the way to the Vignettes Hut.
  • Day four. Traverse of Pigne d’Arolla. There is a 60 metre section of ice that requires ice screw belays on the ascent to the summit.
  • Day five. Ecole d’ escalade near the Orny Hut. Overnight at Trient Hut.
  • Day six. Aiguille du Tour in good conditions.

There are more photos on the Facebook page.

 

Six Days in the Alps

Tina, Scott, Steve, Paul and I have just had six excellent days mountaineering in the Alps. We climbed the following;

  • Day one. L’Arete Marion on the Pointes de la Blonniere. A beautiful rock ridge.
  • Day two to five. We visited the Vanoise where we traversed Mont Pelve and climbed Dome des Sonnailles. On the way we overnighted at the Refuge entre Deux Eaux, Refuge Col de la Vanoise and Refuge de la Valette. We received great hospitality at all the huts. The mountains were in good condition.
  • Day six. We climbed Eperon de la Cicle on the Tete de la Cicle above Les Contamines.

Lots more photos on the facebook page.

 

Mont Blanc – The Italian Way

I have just had an excellent week with Mel, Michelle, Tom, Andy and www.frostguiding.co.uk.

Our week began with an ascent of the Bishorn (4153m) from the Tracuit Hut in perfect conditions. We then completed two via ferratas (Nax and Evolene) on Tuesday as a semi rest day before our next planned route!

On Wednesday we made the significant approach to the Refuge Gonella before traversing Mont Blanc (via the Pope Route and the Gouter Route) on Thursday and overnighting at the Refuge Gouter. Today we descended at 5am from the hut to the valley.

A few notes on conditions:

  • The glacier on the approach to the Rifugio Gonella is not as dry as normal. A rope is advised.
  • The glacier above the Rifugio Gonella has significant serac danger.
  • There are only a couple of icy sections around the Piton des Italiens.
  • There has been stonefall in the Grand Couloir. It is best to cross this early.

Summit of the Bishorn.

The final ridge to Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc

Congratulations to Amanda and Trevor who summited Mont Blanc yesterday. We climbed the mountain via the Refuge du Gouter and the Refuge de Tete Rousse.

Amanda and Trevor with the summit behind.

The Grand Couloir was quiet during our ascent (between 2.15am and 4.15am) and our descent (between 5.00am and 7.00am). I did hear activity during the afternoon and evening. The conditions above the Gouter Hut were excellent.

Rifugio Torino

Amanda, Trevor and I have been at the Rifugio Torino (Mont Blanc Massif) for the last couple of days. Here we climbed the Aiguilles Marbrees, the traverse of Le Petit Flambeau and the Aiguille de Toule. The mountains were in good condition.

The snow ridge of Le Petit Flambeau.

First Summits of the Alpine Season

I have just completed the first summits of my alpine season in the company of Amanda and Trevor. These were in the Vanoise.

Following an excellent meal and night at the Refuge Col de la Vanoise, today we climbed Pointe du Dard and La Rechasse. The mountains were both in perfect condition and very quiet.

The summit of Pointe du Dard with a stunning inversion behind the team.

RCI assessment

I have just completed running an RCI assessment for EICA Ratho. This qualification replaces the SPA. Congratulations to Caz and Finlay who both passed.

Skye

I have just had a good few days in the Black and Red Cuillin of Skye. Firstly Rob, Andy and I had three days. We climbed;

  • Window Buttress and the SW face of the In-Pinn.
  • Little Gully and Slab and Corner to the summit of the Cioch.
  • A days scrambling on Sgurr man Each near Blaven.

Secondly, I was out on the Cioch with Tim and Shelley. We climbed to the summit via Arrow Route and Collie’s Route.

The summit of the Cioch behind Rob and Andy.

Learn to Lead

Jonas, Lennart and I were at Benny Beg last night looking at the skills required for leading sports routes. As well as skills such as re-threading anchors, we also looked at building anchors at the top of venues such as the Arbroath sea cliffs.

Ski Touring in the Troll Peninsula (Iceland)

I am just back from ski touring in the Troll Peninsula with Scott and Tina. We had an amazing time skiing great snow in remote valleys and on coastal peaks followed by a super friendly experience in the café at Dalvik on our return each day.

I would highly recommend Iceland for those who want to ski tour late April and May in a magical place where solitude can easily be found.

Could Inversion on the Troll Peninsula.