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.

The Alps, Fastcastle and the Souter

Last week, Andy, Rob and I had a quick visit to the Alps. Even though the weather was poor over the three days we still managed to climb; Pointe du Pas de Chevres (2991m) and Pointe 2940m (both accessed from the Pas de Chevres in the Arolla area) followed by Pigne de la Le (3396m, Moiry Valley). We then had a days cragging at Le Fayet.

The recent weather in the Alps will make climbing high rock ridges very difficult.

Today I have been out with the Falkirk High Tops Team. Iona, Barbara, Ivor, John and I had a great day at the Fastcastle and Souter sea cliffs. We climbed a number of single and multi pitch routes. The rock was dry and clean. Currently there are no problems with sea birds.

More photos on the facebook page.

Climbing on Pointe 2940m.

Climbing on Pointe 2940m.

Iona near the summit of the Souter.

Iona near the summit of the Souter.

Grand Perron and Point 2940m

Brian looking out to Mont Blanc de Cheilon from Point 2940m.

Brian looking out to Mont Blanc de Cheilon from Point 2940m.

Brian on a narrow section of the Grand Perron.

Brian on a narrow section of the Grand Perron.

Brian and I are climbing together this week based out of Evolene with Martin Moran Mountaineering. Yesterday, we visited the Barrage d’Emosson and completed the traverse of the Grand Perron (2674m). This excellent AD ridge can be accessed in under one hour from Chamonix and should be on the list of all visiting mountaineers who enjoy intricate ridge traverses.

The conditions were mostly good. However, due to the recent weather some of the rock has a lot of lichen on it and requires care.

Today we traversed Point 2940m above Arolla. This rock ridge traverses between the Pas de Chevre and Col de Reidmatten and provides a good day route from Arolla.

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.