Arolla and the Dufourspitze

This week I have been out with David, Mirsie, Mark, Micheal and Jack on behalf of Frost Guiding. We climbed the following;

  • Pointe 2940 above the Pas de Chèvre.
  • Le Serpentine (3789m) from the Col de la Serpentine in Scottish winter conditions. We accessed the mountain from the Dix Hut. Th conditions on the glacier were good.
  • Pointe du Pas de Chèvre (2991m).
  • The Dufourspitze (4634m). The conditions were good on the mountain.

Arolla and Zermatt

This week I have been out with www.frostguiding.co.uk. We were out with fundraisers from the charity www.indeerosetrust.org. This charity supports ‘children and their families who have been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour’. Please get involved if you can.

Notes on the peaks we climbed and conditions;

  • La Luette (3548m) Arolla. Good conditions.
  • Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) Arolla. Good conditions on the ascent from Dix. Getting icy on the descent to Vignettes.
  • Breithorn (4164m) Zermatt. Good conditions.
  • Pollux (4092m) Zermatt. Good conditions
  • Castor (4223m). Zermatt. Climbed by other members of our team. Very icy for this time of the year. Sharp crampons and screws needed.

More photos on the facebook page.

Neil Johnson on Pollux.

Ski Touring in Arolla

Steve and John on the summit of La Luette.

Steve and John on the summit of La Luette.

Last week I was ski touring in the Arolla area with Gordon, Steve and John on behalf of www.frostguiding.co.uk. We found lots of good snow for skiing with fresh tracks on spring snow on both the Tete Blanche and La Luette. Below is the details of where we went;

  • 9th April. The Arolla ski area and Pas de Chevre (2855m).
  • 10th April. Transceiver searches and crevasse rescue training near and around the Glacier de Tsijiore Neuve.
  • 11th April. The Cabane de Bertol (3268m). This is a long ascent and therefore it is worth leaving early in the morning before the day gets hot..
  • 12th April. The Tete Blanche (3724m).
  • 13th April. The Cabane des Dix (2928m).
  • 14th April. La Luette (3548m).
Skinning roped together on a glacier.

Skinning roped together on a glacier.

There are many more photos on the facebook page.

8 Summits with Willie, Neil and www.frostguiding.co.uk

Willie, Neil and I have had a great weeks mountaineering with www.frostguiding.co.uk.

We spent Sunday and Monday in the Arolla area climbing Point 2943m and the Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) visiting the Cabane des Dix on the way. The mountains were in good condition.

On Tuesday during the bad weather we made use  of the day by approaching the Rifugio Quintino Sella from Staffal near Gressoney. After overnighting we traversed Il Naso (4272m) and climbed Piramide Vincent (4215m) before staying at the  Rifugio Mantova.

The line on Il Naso  when climbing from the Rifugio Quintino Sella is not currently that described in the British guidebooks. Rather than climbing the face on the right, it now climbs a rocky ridge which borders the left side of this face followed by a icy nose above which leads to easy ground and the summit. We used ice screws for belays on the nose.

On Thursday we climbed Balmenhorn (4167m), Ludwigshohe (4342m), Parrotspitze (4432m) and the Signalkuppe (4554m) before overnighting at the Rifugio Margherita. The mountains were in good condition.

The Rifugio Margherita is an amazing place to stay being the highest building in Europe and also having some of the best hut food in the Alps.

The weather was poor overnight on Thursday and on Friday morning with fresh snow and high winds giving poor visibility. Using compass, map and GPS we descended to the Punta Indren and then onto Gressoney.

The conditions in the Monte Rosa Massif are currently excellent with much more snow on the glaciers than at this time last year.

There are more photos on the facebook page.

The summit of Ludwigshohe.

The summit of Ludwigshohe.

Pizza Margherita at the Rifugio Margherita.

Pizza Margherita at the Rifugio Margherita.

Alpine Mountaineering with Frost Guiding

Sharna, Pok and I have been out this week with ww.frostguiding.co.uk. On Sunday we completed an Ecole de Glace session before continuing to the Moiry Hut where we spent two nights.

The weather was excellent on Monday so we traversed the Pointe de Mourti (3564m) and the Dent de Rosses (3613m). The conditions on the traverse and on the glacier were excellent. After overnighting the second night at the hut we traversed the Couronne de Breona (3159m) which is a brilliant rock ridge that leads back towards the car park. The heavy rain on Monday night made the condition’s more challenging but we still made the car park before Tuesdays afternoon rain started.

On Wednesday we climbed at Bramois and looked at rescue techniques before walking to the DIx Hut on Thursday. We completed the traverse of Pointe 2943m on the way to the Dix. This is a lovely little rock ridge which is climbed on mostly perfect rock.

To complete the week we climbed Pigne d’Arolla (3796m). There are a good number more crevasses now than when I was there 3 weeks ago. It may be worth chatting to the guardian about the best line on the lower glacier.

The summit of the Pigne.

The summit of the Pigne.

Beautiful sunrise from the Pigne.

Beautiful sunrise from the Pigne.

Arolla Mountaineering with Frost Guiding

This week I am with Frost Guiding who are based in Evolene in the Arolla Valley. Karen, John and I have climbed three peaks over the last three days.

On Sunday we traversed Point 2943m which gives a nice rock climb and scramble. the rock was in excellent condition.

Yesterday we traversed Pigne d’Arolla (3790m) from the Dix Hut to the Vignettes Hut. The mountain was in good condition.

Today we traversed the Pointe d’Oren (3525m) before descending to the valley. The mountain was also in good condition. The bergshrund on the descent was easily crossed.

There are more photos on the facebook page.

Descending the Point d'Oren.

Descending the Point d’Oren.

 

Arolla and Moiry Valleys

Jos on the Aiguille de la Le.

Jos on the Aiguille de la Le.

Helen and Jos on the Cheilon traverse.

Helen and Jos on the Cheilon traverse.

This past week I have been over in Evolene with Martin Moran Mountaineering. Helen, Jos and I had a successful week climbing lots of great terrain. We began our week on Sunday with an Ecole de Glace session on the Ferpecle Glacier before an early start on Monday morning allowed us to complete the Petits Dent de Veisivi (3184m). This is an excellent rock peak and provides routes of PD+ and AD-. It is never busy though due to the steep walk in.

With a good forecast for Wednesday, we travelled to Cabane DIx on Tuesday. On the way, we traversed Point 2940m which is a very pleasant rock ridge. The weather was excellent on Wednesday which allowed us to traverse Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m). The AD ridge was in great condition. However, the Voie Normal which we descended is in difficult condition at the moment due to there being no track and the large amounts of snow this summer creating steep cornices on the ridge.

On Thursday we travelled to the Moiry Hut and on the way traversed the Clocher de la Couronne (3101m). This is an excellent rock peak which can easily be climbed on the way to or from the hut. The weather on Friday was again good. This allowed us to traverse the Aiguille de la Le (3179m). This AD rock ridge is usually quiet and gives continual interest. The British guidebook suggests it is short which is incorrect. From the Moiry Hut to the car park will take around 6 to 7 hours, not 3 as suggested by the guidebook.

Lots more photos on the climbnow facebook page.

Arolla, Saas Fee and Saas Grund

Again this week I have been based out of Evolene with Martin Moran Mountaineering (www.moran-mountain.co.uk).

Following an Ecole de Glace session on the Glacier Ferpecle on Sunday, Mark, Monica and I had a hut trip from Monday to Tuesday.

On the way to the Cabane des DIx above Arolla on Monday we climbed  the Pointe du Pas de Chevres (2991m) before returning to the Pas de Chevres and traversing the Col de Riedmatten. The ladders on the Pas de Chevres remain closed and the Col de Riedmatten is the only option.

The weather on Tuesday was very poor. In full Scottish winter conditions we did however manage to climb La Luette (3548m) before returning to the valley. We climbed the ridge route rather than the glacial route as this was a safer option in the conditions we had.

Monica joined another team for the rest of the week while Mark and I headed to the Saas Valley. On Wednesday we made the ascent to the Mischabel Hutte before climbing the Ulrischhorn (3925m) on Thursday morning during a break in the weather. The Ulrischhorn was in excellent condition. After returning to the valley we completed the approach to the Weissmieshutte to overnight.

Today we completed the Sudkante on the Jegihorn (3206m). Despite all the recent bad weather the rock was perfectly dry.

Another great week in the Alps completed. A short video on the climbnow facebook page shows the current conditions on the Lenspitze and the Nadelhorn.

Mark enjoying brilliant rock on the Jegihorn.

Mark enjoying brilliant rock on the Jegihorn.

Descending the Pointe de Pas de Chevres with the Glacier se Chevres below.

Descending the Pointe de Pas de Chevres with the Glacier de Chevres below.

Mark approaching Ulrischhorn with Lenspitze and Nadelhorn above.

Mark approaching Ulrischhorn with Lenspitze and Nadelhorn above.

The Saas Fee peaks; Taschhorn, Dom, Lenspitze, Nadelhorn and Ulrischhorn.

The Saas Fee peaks; Taschhorn, Dom, Lenspitze, Nadelhorn and Ulrischhorn.

Arolla, Evolene and Saas Grund

I have just spent the past week based out of Evolene with Martin Moran Mountaineering (www.moran-mountain.co.uk) climbing with Mountain Guide Graham Frost, Katya, Simon, John and Clinton.

The week began last Sunday with an Ecole de Glace session on the Glacier Ferpecle. This allowed us to cover lots of skills before making the ascent to the Cabane Bertol on Monday. Behind the Cabane is a large pinnacle of good rock which we climbed in the afternoon.

The weather was perfect on Tuesday and a good freeze overnight gave perfect conditions for our approach to the Aiguille de la Tsa (3668m). We climbed this brilliant pinnacle before descending using multi pitch abseil skills and returning to the valley. Two ropes are required for the descent. The rock was dry and warm.

With a perfect forecast for Thursday we made the ascent to the Cabane Vignettes on Wednesday. Following a very early breakfast we completed the traverse of the Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) and Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m) to the Cabane Dix. This gives a top class AD traverse which was in excellent condition. We returned to the valley via the Col de Reidmatten as the Pas de Chevre is currently closed.

Today, we travelled to Saas Grund and climbed Panorama on the Jegihorn (3206m). This gave a great 350 metre rock climb on excellent rock.

Clinton enjoying Panorama with the Lagginhorn (4010m) in the background.

Clinton enjoying Panorama with the Lagginhorn (4010m) in the background.

Early morning on the Pigne d'Arolla with Graham Frost in the lead.

Early morning on the Pigne d’Arolla with Graham Frost in the lead.

The approach to the Aiguille de la Tsa in the distance.

The approach to the Aiguille de la Tsa in which can be seen in the distance.

 

 

Vallorcine, Pigne d’Arolla, Mont Blanc de Cheilon, Aiguille d’Entreves

After having a rest week back in the UK, I have been out in the Alps the last three days with John and Harvey.

On Sunday, we spent the morning rock climbing on the multi pitch routes at Vallorcine. In the afternoon we walked over the Glacier de Piece to the Cabanne des Vignettes. Yesterday, we had a big day out traversing the Pigne d’Arolla (3790m) and Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m). This brilliant traverse involves a great variety of terrain from easy snow plodding to sustained rock scrambling.

John having completed the snow ridge of Mont Blanc de Cheilon. The Matterhorn can be seen in the distance.

John having completed the snow ridge of Mont Blanc de Cheilon. The Matterhorn can be seen in the distance.

Following a rest and a drink at the Cabane des Dix we continued over the Pas de Chevre and back to Arolla where the vehicle was parked. Conditions on the route were excellent with good snow where necessary and dry rock on the scrambling sections.

Harvey and John on Mont Blanc de Cheilon.

Harvey and John on Mont Blanc de Cheilon.

Harvey and John relaxing at the Cabane des Dix with Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background. The traverse goes from left to right.

Harvey and John relaxing at the Cabane des Dix with Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background. The traverse goes from left to right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we had an early start from Saint Gervais. The forecast for this afternoon was for thunderstorms. Therefore, we travelled through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc to Italy and used the Helbroner lift to gain height quickly. After gearing up, we crossed the glacier and completed the traverse of the Aiguille d’Entreves (3600m) before continuing to the summit of Le Petit Flambeau for lunch. The traverse of the Aiguille d’Entreves was in good condition and being enjoyed by a number of teams.

John climbing on the Aiguille d'Entreves with the Dent du Geant in the background.

John and Harvey climbing on the Aiguille d’Entreves with the Dent du Geant in the background.