Barry and I have been based from Saint Gervais les Bains the last three days. On Wednesday we climbed a seven pitch route at the excellent La Duchere near Les Contamines before travelling to the Rifugio Torino to overnight.
Yesterday, we climbed Les Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m). We also tried to access Le Petit Flambeau traverse and the Aiguille de Toule but both were in terrible condition. Therefore, we dropped down to the Val Ferret and went multi pitch climbing at Mochet.
Today, we climbed the classic Arete des Cosmigues in good conditions.
This week I have been out in the Alps climbing with Ian, Ed and www.frostguiding.co.uk. We began the week last Sunday by traversing the superb Grand Perron (2647m) above Lac d’Emosson.
We then moved to the Evolene and Arolla valley and climbed the Dent Blanche (4357m) via the South Ridge on Tuesday. The route was very dry and crampons were not needed above the second snowfield (although this may change in the current weather). I would not recommend being under other groups in the couloir behind the gendarme at the moment,.
On Wednesday we climbed two routes on the Contrefort de Droite in Les Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix; Eperon Sublime and Robin Wood. A small rack is required for Eperon Sublime.
Yesterday the weather was poor so we made our way to the Rifugio Torino before climbing Les Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m) today under fresh snow and in Scottish winter style conditions. The glacier was in the worst condition I have seen it in.
There are many more photos on the facebook page.
On Wednesday Danny and I walked into the Refuge Albert Premier. There is unusually large amounts of snow for this time of year and an ice axe is essential.
Thursdays weather forecast was for sunny spells from 7am onwards following 30 centimetres of snow the night before. Therefore despite the poor visibility and snowfall we left the hut at 7am and climbed to the Col Sup. du Tour (3289m). We had hoped to continue to the Aiguille du Tour but on reaching Switzerland the weather worsened with high winds as well as snowfall and poor visibility. Therefore we returned from to the hut having had an adventure but not pushing things too far!. The weather did eventually improve at 12.30pm.
Today we left Saint Gervais early and drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and after using the lift system climbed the Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m) before the weather once more closed in.
There are more photos on the facebook page.
TIna, Scott, Duncan, Steve, Paul and I are climbing for a week together in the Alps. Our intention was to begin together on Monday in Arolla and spend a week there doing summits. However, the forecast for that area is very poor for the next six days.
Therefore, as the key to a successful alpine trip is to adapt to the weather and conditions, we opted to climb together on Sunday to use the last of the good weather before the storm arrived late Sunday afternoon. As the team are staying in Chamonix, we travelled through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc and used the Helbronner lift to gain altitude. We then had a great day completing the Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m) and the traverse of Le Petit Flambeau (3440m). Both mountains were in good condition.
The weather continues to look bad in Switzerland and the Mont Blanc Massif so we will be travelling to a different area in search of the sun!