‘Escalade-aventure’ on the Petit Bargy yesterday with Paul. This 1200 foot rock face is a short drive from Saint Gervais where we are based.
The mist was down when we reached the lake at the base of the crag. This made it very hard to locate the approaches to the routes and the routes themselves. I would recommend going there for the first time in good visibility.
Details of the crag can be found in the Vallee de l’Arve guidebook but it is also worth doing some research online (camptocamp is useful) with regards the equipment required.
There was a spontaneous rock fall on the descent of the Col d’Encrenaz so it is worth keeping helmets on for this. The track is exposed to this rock fall area for two minutes in descent (where it crosses the obvious, open bowl).
Paul and I had a great nine days mountaineering in the Monte Rosa Massif, Mont Blanc Massif, Chaine du Bargy and the Valais with Paul, Nick, Mark, Dean and Neil who are all based in the Lincoln area. Thanks also to Kenny Grant who joined us for the last three days. We completed the following;
- 4th September. Ecole de Glace on Mer de Glace.
- 5th September. Overnight at Rifugio Mantova following crevasse rescue on the Indren Glacier.
- 6th September. Pyramid Vincent (4215m), Balmenhorn (4167m) and Corro Nero (4322m).
- 7th September. Punta Giordani (4046m).
- 8th September. Crag session at Le fayet followed by approach to the Robert Blanc Hut.
- 9th September. The brilliant Arete des Lanchettes to the summit of the Domes des Glaciers (3529m).
- 10th September. Via Ferrata at Pic Jallouvre.
- 11th September. Ice climbing on the approach to the Moiry Hut.
- 12th September. The traverse of Pigne de la Le (3396m).
Lots more photos can be seen on the facebook page.
Martin and I were out in the Chaine du Bargy mountain range today. We climbed Tchao Godillo on the Pointe du Midi. This gave an excellent 300 metre route and abseil descent which will be a perfect warm up for our next objective.
This is the second route Martin and I have climbed on this peak. Both have been on perfect limestone and have been very varied in their climbing.
It has been an excellent summer in the Alps. In many areas this past winter and spring ten metres of snow fell. This has led to some fantastic conditions on the glaciers and the ridges of many regions.
It has been a busy summer for the ClimbNow team. Paul has been busy throughout North Wales teaching rock climbing and summer mountaineering skills. Martin has been doing similar work in many parts of Scotland and has spent some time climbing with me in the Alps. I have spent the summer guiding throughout the Alps during the months of June, July, August and September.
My summer began with a holiday in Les Aravis and the Chaine du Bargy with Rosie. From here, I drove to Les Ecrins and spent two brilliant weeks climbing in the best conditions I have seen in the massif for many years. Routes such as the Voie Originale on the Pic Coolidge were in good condition. Normally this route would be unsafe by late June.
After Les Ecrins, I had three weeks climbing in the Mont Blanc Massif, around Saas Fee and in the Val d’Herens. I had the opportunity to climb many interesting and beautiful mountains such as Alphubel, Mont Blanc and the Lagginhorn.
At this point in the season, I often find it useful to have a few days off. This year I returned to the UK for a few days and to attend a wedding before returning to the the peaks around Saas Grund and the three areas mentioned above.
Highlights from this period include; the South Ridge of the Lagginhorn, the traverse of Pigne d’Arolla and Mont Blanc de Cheilon, the traverse of Weissmies and Allalinhorn’s Holaubgrat.
The season continued with many fine summits in the Mont Blanc Massif and Gran Paradiso National Park before I returned to Les Ecrins for two more brilliant weeks of rock climbing and peak bagging.
The final week of my season was spent in the mountains above Saas Fee and Zermatt. Conditions were challenging but as always the mountains and the team I climbed with provided some amazing memories.
This season I have spent fifty seven days climbing and mountaineering, twenty four nights in sixteen different huts, have climbed thirty four alpine summits and eleven multi pitch climbs as well as many single pitch climbs and completed five Ecole de Glace sessions.
I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has joined me on the many adventures this summer has provided and made it such a memorable season.
The Chaine du Bargy is a brilliant area approximately one hour from Saint Gervais. It is very popular with road cyclists where the principal challenge is the Col de la Colombiere. Rosie and I cycled this yesterday.
Today, we climbed on the Falaise de la Colombiere. This gives excellent routes on quality limestone up to 80 metres high. I have climbed on other cliffs in this area previously. For example, on the 4th September 2012 Martin and I climbed on the Pointe Du Midi. A report can be found on the blog.
I would recommend this area to anyone who likes climbing multi pitch limestone, completing via ferratas, hill walking or road cycling in a beautiful unspoilt area which receives lots of sunshine.