September in the Alps

September is an excellent month in the Alps. The huts and the mountains are quieter and the air temperature is also normally lower.

This week, Barry and I are climbing together. On Sunday we traversed the Aiguilles Crochues (2840m) and the Aiguille du Belvedere (2965m). There had been significant snowfall in the days proceeding which meant careful footwork was required. We saw two teams on the Crochues and none on the Belvedere.

Above the clouds on the Belvedere.

Yesterday we climbed on the Grande Falaise de Seloge in the Vallee des Glaciers. This is an excellent crag about 8 pitches high. The descent can be by either abseil or walk off.

In the afternoon we walked to the Refuge Robert Blanc to overnight. There was a warm welcome and great food.

Today we climbed Le Mont Tondu (3196m) taking in the summit of the Pain de Sucre on the way. There was nobody around.

Part of the Mont Tondu ridge.

 

Les Aravis, Chamonix and the Mont Viso Massif

Tina, Scott, Steve, Paul and I had a great time last week in the Alps. The weather forecast was poor but by moving to find good weather we achieved some great routes. We completed the following;

  • Arete du Doigt and the Cheminee Sallanches on Pointe Percee. This is the highest mountain in Les Aravis.
  • The traverse of the Aiguille des Crochues above Chamonix.
  • The Cresta Perotti on the  Punta Venezia and La Cresta Est on the Punta Udine. These superb ridges are both located in the Mont Viso Massif.
  • Some superb multi pitch rock climbing on the Costa Grande near the Refuge Sella in the Mont Viso Massif.

Climbing the Arete du Doigt on the Pointe Percee

Near the summit of Punta Venezia.

Summits in the Chamonix area

For the past few days I have been climbing summits in the Mont Blanc Massif and Les Aiguilles Rouges with two Alpinists. On Sunday we ascended to the Albert Premier Hut before completing an Ecole de Glace session on the Glacier du Tour. The weather on Monday was very poor with fresh snow but we still had a good day out traversing the Col Sup. du Tour and the Plateau du Trient to the Cabane du Trient.

The Plateau du Trient early on the 20/08/13.

The Plateau du Trient early on the 20/08/13.

For the time of year, the Plateau du Trient was in excellent condition with very good snow cover.

Yesterday, we had a big day climbing three summits; Aiguille du Tour (3542m), Petite Fourche (3520m) and Tete Blanche (3429m). The bergshrund on Aiguille du Tour is large and requires care. The conditions on the other two peaks were good.

Teams crossing the bergshrund on Aiguille du Tour.

Teams crossing the bergshrund on Aiguille du Tour.

Today we traversed Les Aiguilles Crochues (2840m). The route was quiet with no queues.

A team climbing on Les Aiguilles Crochues.

A team climbing on Les Aiguilles Crochues.

Les Aiguilles Crochues

Danny and I finished our six days together today by traversing Les Aiguilles Crochues (2840m). This ridge traverse is accessed from L’Index chairlift in Les Aiguilles Rouges.

Mont Blanc from the approach to Les Aiguilles Crochues.

Mont Blanc from the approach to Les Aiguilles Crochues.

The ridge is climbed on excellent rock and good spikes are available for belaying and to allow moving together.

A team enjoying the excellent rock scrambling.

A team enjoying the excellent rock scrambling.

 

The return to the lift station is made via Lac Blanc. There is a Refuge next to the lake which provides a great place to stop for a coffee break.

Danny returning to L'Index chairlft with Les Drus and the Aiguille Verte in the distance.

Danny returning to L’Index chairlft with Les Drus and the Aiguille Verte in the distance.