Arolla and Zermatt

This week I have been out with www.frostguiding.co.uk. We were out with fundraisers from the charity www.indeerosetrust.org. This charity supports ‘children and their families who have been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour’. Please get involved if you can.

Notes on the peaks we climbed and conditions;

  • La Luette (3548m) Arolla. Good conditions.
  • Pigne d’Arolla (3796m) Arolla. Good conditions on the ascent from Dix. Getting icy on the descent to Vignettes.
  • Breithorn (4164m) Zermatt. Good conditions.
  • Pollux (4092m) Zermatt. Good conditions
  • Castor (4223m). Zermatt. Climbed by other members of our team. Very icy for this time of the year. Sharp crampons and screws needed.

More photos on the facebook page.

Neil Johnson on Pollux.

Arolla Mountaineering with Frost Guiding

This week I am with Frost Guiding who are based in Evolene in the Arolla Valley. Karen, John and I have climbed three peaks over the last three days.

On Sunday we traversed Point 2943m which gives a nice rock climb and scramble. the rock was in excellent condition.

Yesterday we traversed Pigne d’Arolla (3790m) from the Dix Hut to the Vignettes Hut. The mountain was in good condition.

Today we traversed the Pointe d’Oren (3525m) before descending to the valley. The mountain was also in good condition. The bergshrund on the descent was easily crossed.

There are more photos on the facebook page.

Descending the Point d'Oren.

Descending the Point d’Oren.

 

Mont Blanc Massif and Arolla

Andrew and I have just had a great five days mountaineering in the Mont Blanc Massif and Arolla Valley despite some challenging weather.

On Monday we travelled through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and used the new telepherique to the Punta Helbronner before climbing the Aiguille Marbrees (3535m) and the Aiguille de Toule (3534m). The parking for the new telepherique is in a new location and it is worth allowing a couple of minutes to find it.

With a poor forecast for Tuesday we made the best of the day by visiting the Mer de Glace and practising the key crevasse rescue skills we would need for our planned expedition over the next three days.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday  were spent in the Arolla Valley were we climbed firstly to the Cabane des Vignettes before an ascent of the Pigne d’Arolla (3790m) on Thursday morning.

After our ascent of the Pigne we made the long approach to the Bivouac de l’Aiguillette. This is a brilliant remote hut and provides some great mountains with no other climbers around.

The weather deteriorated on Thursday evening into Friday but we still managed an ascent of the Becque Labie (3463m) before returning to Arolla

There is large quantities of new snow around which made the return to Arolla on Friday hard work. During our expediton period we did not see any other climbers other than at the Vignettes Hut. Therefore, there are no tracks at the moment so good navigation skills are essential.

There are lots more photos on the facebook page.

On the approach to the Bivouac.

On the approach to the Bivouac.

Approaching the Aiguille Marbrees.

Approaching the Aiguille Marbrees.

 

Vallorcine, Pigne d’Arolla, Mont Blanc de Cheilon, Aiguille d’Entreves

After having a rest week back in the UK, I have been out in the Alps the last three days with John and Harvey.

On Sunday, we spent the morning rock climbing on the multi pitch routes at Vallorcine. In the afternoon we walked over the Glacier de Piece to the Cabanne des Vignettes. Yesterday, we had a big day out traversing the Pigne d’Arolla (3790m) and Mont Blanc de Cheilon (3870m). This brilliant traverse involves a great variety of terrain from easy snow plodding to sustained rock scrambling.

John having completed the snow ridge of Mont Blanc de Cheilon. The Matterhorn can be seen in the distance.

John having completed the snow ridge of Mont Blanc de Cheilon. The Matterhorn can be seen in the distance.

Following a rest and a drink at the Cabane des Dix we continued over the Pas de Chevre and back to Arolla where the vehicle was parked. Conditions on the route were excellent with good snow where necessary and dry rock on the scrambling sections.

Harvey and John on Mont Blanc de Cheilon.

Harvey and John on Mont Blanc de Cheilon.

Harvey and John relaxing at the Cabane des Dix with Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background. The traverse goes from left to right.

Harvey and John relaxing at the Cabane des Dix with Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background. The traverse goes from left to right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we had an early start from Saint Gervais. The forecast for this afternoon was for thunderstorms. Therefore, we travelled through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc to Italy and used the Helbroner lift to gain height quickly. After gearing up, we crossed the glacier and completed the traverse of the Aiguille d’Entreves (3600m) before continuing to the summit of Le Petit Flambeau for lunch. The traverse of the Aiguille d’Entreves was in good condition and being enjoyed by a number of teams.

John climbing on the Aiguille d'Entreves with the Dent du Geant in the background.

John and Harvey climbing on the Aiguille d’Entreves with the Dent du Geant in the background.