Four Varied Days

Guy, Joey, Paul and I have had four varied days in the Alps.

On Tuesday we climbed Aiguilles Marbrees  and traversed Le Petit Flambeau from the Rifugio Torino before overnighting at the hut. The snow ridge on Le Petit Flambeau is currently icy and requires screws.

The next day we traversed the Aiguille d’Entreves in good conditions.

Yesterday we visited the beautiful Vanoise National Park and traversed the stunning Aiguille de la Vanoise which includes a very, very narrow rock ridge.

Today we went multi pitch rock climbing at La Duchere. There is some seepage on the crag after last nights rain.

On the amazing Aiguille de la Vanoise.

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.

Great Mountaineering with Andrew, Nigel and Frost Guiding

Andrew, Nigel and I have just had a great weeks mountaineering with www.frostguiding.co.uk. We completed the following routes, days and summits;

  • Traverse of the Aiguille d’Entreves (3600m).
  • Aiguille Marbres (3535m).
  • Traverse of Le Petit Flambeau (3440m).
  • Traverse of Aiguille Crochues (2840m).
  • Rock climbing at Bramois.
  • Traverse of Breithorn East (4139m) and West (4165m) from Col 4022m.
  • Pollux (4092m).

There are many more photos on the facebook page.

The snowy section of the Breithorn traverse.

The snowy section of the Breithorn traverse.

Climbing from Refuge Torino

Duncan on the Aiguilles Marbrees.

Duncan on the Aiguilles Marbrees.

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!

Alpine Summits and Cragging at Les Contamines

Paul and I are climbing together for a week in the Alps. We are staying in Saint Gervais which is a beautiful alpine town twenty minutes drive from Chamonix.

Yesterday, we travelled through the Mont Blanc Tunnnel to Italy and used the Punta Helbronner lift to quickly gain altitude. From here we climbed the Aiguille de Toule (3534m) before traversing Le Petit Flambeau (3440m) from La Vierge (an excellent PD+ mixed ridge). Conditions on both mountains were excellent.

Today, Paul and I climbed two good multi pitch routes at La Duchere near Les Contamines. These were; Ecole Junior and Les Trois Surplombs. We descended both routes by multi pitch abseils but it is also possible to walk down.

Paul near the summit of the Aiguille de Toule. the Dent de Geant is the obvious rock feature in the background.

Paul near the summit of the Aiguille de Toule. The Dent de Geant is the obvious rock feature in the background.

 

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.

 

Bramois, Aiguille d’Entreves, Le Petit Flambeau

Matt enjoying the Aiguille d'Entreves.

Matt enjoying the Aiguille d’Entreves.

Approaching Le Petit Flambeau. The pinnale is La Vierge.

Approaching Le Petit Flambeau. The pinnacle is La Vierge.

It has been a busy few days out hear in the Alps. On Thursday and Friday I was at the Bramois crags near Sion. We climbed a mixture of single pitch and multi pitch routes such as the classic ‘Arete Sud’. The multi pitch routes are bolted but feel a bit like climbing on Gogarth. The rock has a similar texture and the quality varies in the same way. The single pitch routes tend to be on good solid rock.

After a days road cycling yesterday I was back out on the hill today above Courmayeur. Matt and I used uplift to gain the Vallee Blanche before traversing the Aiguille d’Entreves and Le Petit Flambeau. Both routes were in good condition. The rock was dry on both routes and the Arete on Le Petit Flambeau was good snow rather than old glacial ice.