31st August Jegihorn (3206m) Via Ferrata

The beginning of the Via Ferrata with the Saas Fee peaks in the background.

A climber on the Via Ferrata wire bridge.

The exposed net high on the Via Ferrata.

I was back out with the Weissmies team today on the Jegihorn Via Ferrata above Saas Grund. This begins with some nice scrambling before the split. At the split there are two options. The right hand option gives nice scrambling while the left gives exposed bridges, steep nets and sustained moves on rock walls. We took the left hand option which was great fun.

29th to 30th August Ecole De Glace and Weissmies (4023m)

Evening light over the Monte Rosa Massif, Strahlhorn and Rimpfischhorn.

Morning light over Alphubel, Taschorn, Dom, Lenspitze and Nadelhorn.

For the past two days I have been at the Hosaas Hut above Saas Grund. Yesterday, we completed an Ecole De Glace session on the Trift Gletscher and today we climbed Weissmies. The conditions on the peak are still pretty good but the track requires more care than a few weeks ago as more ice is present following the recent warm period.

28th August Aiguille De Toule and the Traverse of Le Petit Flambeau

The summit of the Aiguille De Toule with Mont Blanc behind.

Nearing the summit of Le Petit Flambeau.

Rosie, Iain, Katie and I headed through the Mont Blanc tunnel today to Courmayeur. We took the lift to Punta Helbronner and had a great day first on the Aiguille De Toule from the Col Orient De Toule and secondly on the traverse of Le Petit Flambeau (this begins near La Vierge). The snow arete of Le Petit Flambeau is currently very icy and ice screws are worth carrying to ensure safety on this section.

21st to 24th August Bourg St Pierre to Arolla

Sunset on Mont Blanc from the Valsorey Hut.

Climbers gaining the Plateau Du Couloir with Mont Velan on the left and Mont Blanc on the right.

Mont Blanc De Cheillon from the Cabane Dix.
I have just had an excellent four days traversing the Alps from Bourg St Pierre to Arolla via the Vallsorey, Chanrion and Dix huts. The route had a bit of everything; walks through alpine meadows, long glacier sections and pitched climbing to gain the Plateau Du Couloir.
The Plateau Du Couloir is crossed between the Valsorey and Dix Huts. Currently, conditions on the descent of the Plateau Du Couloir towards the Dix Hut are not very good. The descent is dry making rockfall an issue and can not be recommended.


17th to 18th August Matterhorn

Matterhorn summit ridge with the Monte Rosa Massif beyond.

The Matterhorn from the approach path to the Hornli Hut.

For the past two days I have been through in Switzerland at the Hornli Hut. Today we climbed the Matterhorn via the Hornli Ridge. Conditions today on the ridge were good and hence the route was busy.

9th August Aiguille De La Vanoise

The initial section of the Aiguille has some nice, short pitches.

One of the narrow sections on the Aiguille with Rosie using alternative climbing technique!

The Aiguille De La Vanoise is in the background.

On the evening of the 8th Rosie and I drove to Pralognan De La Vanoise. This allowed us an early start the next day to climb the Aiguille De La Vanoise. The Aiguille is located next to the Refuge Col De La Vanoise which would make an ideal place to stay the night before doing the route. Other great mountains in this area climbed from the hut include the classic Grande Casse.

We traversed the Aiguille from the east to west. A small rack is required. The route is AD. It is worth bringing a couple of old snap gates and some abseil tat if you would prefer to abseil the down climbing at the end of the ridge.

The area is the most beautiful I have visited this season. Once past the ski lifts (this takes about 30 minutes) the area is unspoilt and we saw masses of wild flowers (including Edelweiss) and animals. Rosie loved the ‘baby’ Marmottes in particular.

Details of the route can be found in Le Topo de la Vanoise by Philippe Deslandes and James Merel or also on the website camptocamp.

6th August Les Gaillands

I was out today at Les Gaillands (Chamonix) doing some cragging. This crag has routes from one to three pitches in length with well maintained in-situ protection. It gets lots of sun and was busy today with large numbers of climbers.

5th August 2011 Mont Blanc Du Tacul and Arete Laurent

Mont Maudit from near the summit of Mont Blanc Du Tacul.

Today I have been out with a team in the Mont Blanc Massif. We started the day by descending from the Aiguille Du Midi before climbing Mont Blanc Du Tacul. Currently there is a good track but as usual the face does have large seracs looming over it.

We then continued the day by returning to the Col Du Midi and ascending the Arete Laurent before having coffee in the Cosmiques Hut and returning to the Aiguille Du Midi to catch the telepherique down.

31st July to 3rd August Saas Grund and Saas Fee

A large Ibex outside the Britannia Hutte.

Climbers descending the Allalinhorn with the Zermatt peaks and Alphubel in the background.

Climbers approaching the Summit of Weissmeis from the Almageler Hut.

For the last few days I have been over in the Saas Grund and Saas Fee area. On sunday we did an Ecole De Glace session on the Trift Gletscher before staying at the Hosaas Hutte and climbing Weissmeis on monday. Currently, there is a good track on Weissmeis.

On tuesday we climbed the Allalinhorn from Saas Fee before descending to the Britannia Hutte. There was a large herd of Ibex on the approach to the hut and one large individual happily standing about twenty yards from the hut. The weather forecast was poor for wednesday so we had an early start and traversed the Hohlaub Gletscher, Allalin Gletscher and the Schwarxbergchopf before descending to Mattmark. The thuderstorm started a couple of hours later.