The Mont Blanc Massif

Barry and I have been based from Saint Gervais les Bains the last three days. On Wednesday we climbed a seven pitch route at the excellent La Duchere near Les Contamines before travelling to the Rifugio Torino to overnight.

The view from the end of the Arete des Cosmiques.

Yesterday, we climbed Les Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m). We also tried to access Le Petit Flambeau traverse and the Aiguille de Toule but both were in terrible condition. Therefore, we dropped down to the Val Ferret and went multi pitch climbing at Mochet.

Today, we climbed the classic Arete des Cosmigues in good conditions.

Mont Blanc from the summit of Les Aiguilles Marbrees.

A Varied Week in the Alps

This week I have been out in the Alps climbing with Ian, Ed and www.frostguiding.co.uk. We began the week last Sunday by traversing the superb Grand Perron  (2647m) above Lac d’Emosson.

Ian and Ed with the Perron Traverse behind.

We then moved to the Evolene and Arolla valley and climbed the Dent Blanche (4357m) via the South Ridge on Tuesday. The route was very dry and crampons were not needed above the second snowfield (although this may change in the current weather). I would not recommend being under other groups in the couloir behind the gendarme at the moment,.

Sunset from the Dent Blanche Hut.

 

 

On Wednesday we climbed two routes on the Contrefort de Droite in Les Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix; Eperon Sublime and Robin Wood. A small rack is required for Eperon Sublime.

Yesterday the weather was poor so we made our way to the Rifugio Torino before climbing Les Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m) today under fresh snow and in Scottish winter style conditions. The glacier was in the worst condition I have seen it in.

There are many more photos on the facebook page.

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.

Two days from the Torino Hut

Andy, Rob, Frank, Paul and I (Euan) have just had two good days mountaineering from the Torino Hut which is accessed from the Helbronner lift and located in the Mont Blanc Massif.

Yesterday, Paul and Frank climbed the Dent du Geant (4013m) while Andy, Rob and I climbed the Aiguille Marbrees (3535m) and the Aiguille de Toule (3534m). Conditions were good on all three mountains however as the Aiguille de Toule does now not have much snow cover, care is required with the rock and it is best to avoid being under other parties.

Today we all climbed La Tour Ronde (3792m). Paul and Frank climbed the Gervasutti Couloir in good conditions and Andy, Rob and I climbed the Voie Normale. Snow cover has decreased on the Voie Normale since last week and therefore an early start or descent is useful.

Rob and Andy climbing mixed ground on La Tour Ronde.

Rob and Andy climbing mixed ground on La Tour Ronde.

Frank in the Gervasutti Couloir.

Frank in the Gervasutti Couloir.

Tour Ronde and the Dent du Geant

Yesterday, John, Harvey, Paul and I travelled through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc to Italy and used the Helbronner lift to access the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif. From the lift we climbed the Tour Ronde (3792m) via the South East Arete and descended the Voie Normale.

The route was in snowy but good condition. Please note for those intending to climb the South East Arete, that the route is given AD in the French guidebooks not PD as in the British guidebook. It is best using the French versions.

Today, John, Harvey and Paul had a great day climbing the Dent du Geant (4013m).

There is a short video and a number of photos of yesterday and this morning on the climbnow facebook page.

Returning to the Torino Hut with the Dent du Geant visible beyond.

Returning to the Torino Hut with the Dent du Geant visible beyond.

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!