Mont Blanc – The Italian Way

I have just had an excellent week with Mel, Michelle, Tom, Andy and

Our week began with an ascent of the Bishorn (4153m) from the Tracuit Hut in perfect conditions. We then completed two via ferratas (Nax and Evolene) on Tuesday as a semi rest day before our next planned route!

On Wednesday we made the significant approach to the Refuge Gonella before traversing Mont Blanc (via the Pope Route and the Gouter Route) on Thursday and overnighting at the Refuge Gouter. Today we descended at 5am from the hut to the valley.

A few notes on conditions:

  • The glacier on the approach to the Rifugio Gonella is not as dry as normal. A rope is advised.
  • The glacier above the Rifugio Gonella has significant serac danger.
  • There are only a couple of icy sections around the Piton des Italiens.
  • There has been stonefall in the Grand Couloir. It is best to cross this early.

Summit of the Bishorn.

The final ridge to Mont Blanc.

Mountaineering with Team Lincoln

Paul and I had a great nine days mountaineering in the Monte Rosa Massif, Mont Blanc Massif, Chaine du Bargy and the Valais with Paul, Nick, Mark, Dean and Neil who are all based in the Lincoln area. Thanks also to Kenny Grant who joined us for the last three days. We completed the following;

  • 4th September. Ecole de Glace on Mer de Glace.
  • 5th September. Overnight at Rifugio Mantova following crevasse rescue on the Indren Glacier.
  • 6th September. Pyramid Vincent (4215m), Balmenhorn (4167m) and Corro Nero (4322m).
  • 7th September. Punta Giordani (4046m).
  • 8th September. Crag session at Le fayet followed by approach to the Robert Blanc Hut.
  • 9th September. The brilliant Arete des Lanchettes to the summit of the Domes des Glaciers (3529m).
  • 10th September. Via Ferrata at Pic Jallouvre.
  • 11th September. Ice climbing on the approach to the Moiry Hut.
  • 12th September. The traverse of Pigne de la Le (3396m).

Lots more photos can be seen on the facebook page.

The team on the summit of Dome des Glaciers.

The team on the summit of Dome des Glaciers.

Mountaineering with Adam, Greg and Frost Guiding

It has been another productive week in the Alps. This week I was out with Adam and Greg on behalf of

We began our week with a Ecole de Glace session on the Ferpecle Glacier before going to the Cabane Bertol on Monday and climbing the Clocher de Bertol. The next day we made the ascent of the Tete Blanche (3710m) which was in good condition.

The weather was poor on Wednesday but we still managed to climb the excellent Arete Sud at Bramois before the rain began. In the afternoon we completed the Via Ferrata at Nax.

On Thursday we made the ascent to the Cabane d’Orny before climbing the Aiguille de la Cabane (2999m) via the Voie Bon Accueil. This gave an excellent rock route on perfect granite.

Yesterday morning we climbed the Aiguille du Tour (3540m) before descending to the valley. The mountain was in good condition.

On the ascent of Tete Blanche with the Matterhorn behind.

On the ascent of Tete Blanche with the Matterhorn behind.



Via Ferrata Tour of the Alps

Rosie and I have just had a good few days completing a number of Via Ferratas. These were; Les Bettieres, Roc du Vent (2360m) and Le Belvedere at Nax. On the way we visited Annecy, Bourg Saint Maurice, Aosta and Evolene.  A great way to spend a few days.

A wire bridge on the Roc du Vent.

A wire bridge on the Roc du Vent.

Three Days in Les Ecrins

John, Harvey and I drove on Wednesday from Chamonix to La Berarde in search of some sunshine. Heavy rain accompanied our drive until we arrived in the village at which point the clouds cleared and the sun came out. We then had a pleasant walk to the Refuge Temple Ecrins. For those planning on going in the next couple of days to the Refuge de la Pilatte, check on access locally as one of the bridges is down due to recent floods.

The weather yesterday was perfect. This allowed us to make the ascent of Pic Coolidge (3775m). This is an excellent, long and varied alpine route and was in good condition.

After overnighting at the Centre Alpin in La berarde, today we climbed the 2611m summit of the Aiguillette du Lauzet utilising the via ferrata. The sun was out all day and we only encountered rain on our return to Chamonix.

Lots more photos can be seen on the climbnow facebook page.

On Pic Coolidge with Harvey and John. L'Ailefroide can be seen in the background.

On Pic Coolidge with Harvey and John. L’Ailefroide can be seen in the background.

Elie Chain Walk

Out today in Fife on the Elie Chain Walk with a group from The City of Edinburgh Council Summer Programme. The chain walk is currently the closest Scotland has to a via ferrata, although an easy one. If you’re doing it for the first time, it’s definitely worth checking tide times as it would be fairly easy to get cut off on some sections as the tide comes in. 

Typical scenery on the Elie Chain Walk with a chain visible in the notch

Typical scenery on the Elie Chain Walk with a chain visible in the notch

Elie Chain Walk

A day on the Elie Chain Walk again today with Cameron and a group fron the Edinburgh Council Easter Programme. Beautiful sunny weather with a light North-Easterly wind. The views across to snowy hills in the Lothians were great again. The rock was dry and warm and I’d guess climbing on the Hawkcraig at Aberdour would have been excellent today.

Elie Chain Walk

Out on the Elie Chain Walk in Fife today with a group from the Edinburgh Council Easter Programme. The Chain Walk is a mini via ferrata along the sea cliffs and takes in some excellent scenery and geology. It’s worth checking tide times before doing the walk as it would be possible to be become stranded. The views across the Forth to the snowy Lammermuirs, Moorfoots and Pentlands were excellent today and the rock was dry.