Tete Blanche (Chamonix)

Paul and I walked to the Refuge Albert Premier on Friday before climbing the Tete Blanche (3421m) on Saturday morning. The mountain was in good condition and the newly restored hut was excellent.

Approaching the Tete Blanche with the Aiguille du Chardonnet behind.

Approaching the Tete Blanche with the Aiguille du Chardonnet behind.

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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The Glacier de Tre la Tete Basin

For the past three days, Paul and I have been out in the Mont Blanc Massif. This time we accessed the mountains from Les Contamines. This area will appeal to those who like their mountains quieter and more unspoilt than the main massif. There are no cable cars meaning all the peaks require a sizeable effort.

Near the summit of the Aiguille de la Berangere.

Near the summit of the Aiguille de la Berangere.

On Wednesday, the weather was poor. Therefore, we used this day to complete the long walk to the Refuge des Conscrits. Rather than use the glacier approach as marked on the map we used the new footpath which traverses the hillside high on the north side of the glacier. The path is well equipped with fixed ropes and a large wire bridge. The weather was perfect on Thursday. We made the most of this by climbing the Aiguille de la Berangere (3425m) which can be seen from Saint Gervais where we are based. The mountain gives great views of the Vanoise and Mont Blanc. Conditions were excellent. On Thursday afternoon we descended to the Hotel Tre-la-Tete which is on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Following a very comfortable night here, we had a good day on Friday ice climbing on the Glacier Tre-la-Tete and practicing crevasse rescue.

More photos can be seen on the climbnow facebook page.

Paul descending from the Refuge des Conscrits.

Paul descending from the Refuge des Conscrits.

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.

 

Polney Crag, Dunkeld

 

Paul ( of Moet Hennessey / Glenmorangie ) high off the ground at Polney Crag.

Paul ( of Moet Hennessey / Glenmorangie ) high off the ground at Polney Crag.

Paul and I have had a good day out today at Polney Crag near Dunkeld.  We climbed; Twisted Rib, Bollard Buttress, Cuticle Crack (in two pitches) and Kestrel Crack. The weather was once again excellent, the crag is very dry at the moment and there were only a few midges around. There were no other climbers at the crag.

Paul ( of Moet Hennessey / Glenmorangie ) on the first pitch of Cuticle Crack.

Paul ( of Moet Hennessey / Glenmorangie ) on the first pitch of Cuticle Crack.

Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Paul Skipworth( of Moet Hennessey / Glenmorangie ) on Curved Ridge with the Rannoch Wall behind.

Paul Skipworth ( of Moet Hennessey/Glenmorangie ) on Curved Ridge with the Rannoch Wall behind.

Paul and I have been out today in Glencoe. We had a great time climbing Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor. The weather was excellent until we reached the summit of the mountain when heavy rain started. The Rannoch Wall was mostly dry and most routes were in a climbable condition before the rain started.

Paul high on Curved Ridge.

Paul high on Curved Ridge.