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.

 

Pigne de la Le

For the past couple of days I have been out with St. James School and www.frostguiding.co.uk. On Sunday we completed an Ecole de Glace session on the Moiry Glacier before overnighting at the hut. Yesterday, we climbed the Pigne de la Le via the Voie Normale.

The Voie Normale is pretty ice at the moment (although this may change over the next few days) and I would recommend sharp crampons.

Today we tried to get to the Cabane Bertol but had to turn back above the Plan de Bertol due to torrential rain but more importantly, thunder and lightning.

Descending from the Pigne de la Le.

Mountaineering in the Chamonix Area

Paul, Hector and I have been mountaineering in the Chamonix area the last three days. After completing an ecole de glace session on Sunday on the Mer de Glace and some rock climbing at Le Fayet yesterday morning, we walked to the Refuge Albert Premier.

Today we climbed the Petite Fourche (3520m) and the Tete Blanche (3421m). The mountains were in good condition. The glaciers were in excellent condition for this time of year.

On the approach to the Petite Fourche.

On the approach to the Petite Fourche.

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.

Mont Gioberney and the Mer de Glace

Danny and I are currently in the Alps climbing together. The weather is very changeable at the moment and lots of studying of weather forecasts is required.

On Monday we travelled to Les Ecrins before walking to the Refuge de la Pilatte. The weather on Tuesday morning was not perfect but we persevered towards Mont Gioberney. We were rewarded with clearing skies on reaching the Col du Gioberney and amazing views from the summit (3352m).

Today we visited the Mer de Glace above Chamonix and spent time ice climbing and practising crevasse rescue skills.

Currently there is large volumes of snow remaining from the winter in the Alps making routes more time consuming.

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Danny on the summit of Mont Gioberney.

Mountaineering with Team Lincoln

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.

The team on the summit of Dome des Glaciers.

The team on the summit of Dome des Glaciers.

Three Regions in Four Days

Paul Skipworth and I are climbing together this week basing our trip from Saint Gervais Les Bains.

On Monday we spent the day on the Mer de Glace above Chamonix completing an Ecole de Glace session. We then made the short drive to Les Aravis on Tuesday before completing the traverse of the Pointe Percee (2750m). This is a beautiful peak with lots of good rock routes on it in a stunning limestone location.

On Wednesday morning we travelled to the Zinal valley before walking to the Tracuit hut. We were accompanied by snowfall above 2700 metres. Yesterday, we climbed the Bishorn (4153m). The mountain was in excellent condition due to the large quantities of new snow. This new snow will however make the rock ridges of the Valais very difficult.

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Another Great Week in the Alps

The weather continues to be excellent in the Alps allowing plenty more opportunities to climb great mountains. This week on behalf of www.frostguiding.co.uk I have been out with Gordon, Ben, Emma, John and Andy Teasdale.

We began the week by going to Cabane de Moiry and on the way completed an ecole de glace session. The next day we traversed the Pointe de Mourti (3563m) and the Dent de Rosses (3613m). This lovely AD route was in good condition.

On Tuesday we walked into the Britannia Hut from the Platjjen lift station in Saas Fee arriving just before the very heavy rain that was correctly forecast for the afternoon. The next morning we completed the Hohlaubgrat on the Allalinhorn (4027m). This is a beautiful snow and ice ridge with one rock step near the summit. At the moment the ridge is fairly icy and good sharp crampons are advised.

The next day following another early start we traversed the Grand Perron (2674m). This is another excellent AD ridge that involves sustained rock scrambling, some rock climbing and five abseils. The rock on the route is mostly excellent.

Yesterday we went multi pitch rock climbing on the Dent de Follieches near Arolla before revisiting our prusiking skills to finish off the week.

There are many more photos from the last two weeks on the climbnow facebook page.

The summit of the Allalinhorn.

The summit of the Allalinhorn.

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.

Ecole de Glace, Traverse of the Lagginhorn

John, Harvey, Andy and I have been based out of the Hosaas Hut above Saas Grund the last couple of days. We drove early on Friday morning from Saint Gervais with the hope of good weather and the intention of climbing Weismies. There had been heavy snow overnight and at 3450 metres on the peak we retreated due to poor visibility and dangerous snow conditons. We did however have a great afternoon on the glacier practising, crevasse rescue, prusiking and ice climbing skills.

Harvey climbing perfect rock on the Lagginhorn traverse.

Harvey climbing perfect rock on the Lagginhorn traverse.

Today, we traversed the Lagginhorn (4010m). This very long ridge route is AD in standard and begins by climbing the South Ridge before traversing between point 3906m and the true summit and finishes by descending the normal route. The route is easiest when the rock is dry. At the moment, due to the recent poor weather, there is a lot of snow around and we climbed a large percentage of the route in crampons. These conditions did however, give us a brilliant mixed route and a great finale to the week.

Harvey, John and Andy on the summit of the Lagginhorn.

Harvey, John and Andy on the summit of the Lagginhorn.

 

Andy and John returning to the Hosaas Hut.

Andy and John returning to the Hosaas Hut.