Archive for the ‘Alpine Climbing’ Category

Autumnal but sociable time in the Alps

August 28, 2010
Chamonix Aiguilles at sunset

Chamonix Aiguilles at sunset

Just back from a 9 day trip to the Alps. Unfortunately the weather continues to be very unsettled over much of the alps and I managed to conspire to be in all the wrong places at the wrong times in regard to actually getting any high alpine climbing done.

Such is the way with alpine climbing.

Our one attempt up high was to be one of the couloirs on the North Face of the Chardonnet . Rising at 2am the rain and wind were still rattling the hut windows and we were in the cloud level. There was little change at 4am. Finally at 5 am things improved somewhat so we set off in a hope of achieving something.

As long as you stayed in a trench things were not too bad but step out and you were straight up to your knees in heavy wet snow! With no track in to our route we aborted plans and went for a walk instead.

Back in the valley I did manage some good cragging. With James Thacker we climbed the 6 pitch slab route Autoroute Blanche above the Swiss/French border. On another day with Mat and friends we visited a small crag above Le Buet. This is home to the famous off-width Thai Boxing. First ascended by Craig Luebben this hideously wide overhanging monster recently saw ascents from Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker. We would have got on it of course but we lacked big enough cams.. honest!! Instead we contented ourselves with an equally overhanging hand and finger crack just to the right.

It was however fantastic to catch up with various friends that now live in the alps and relax a little.

"improving weather" near the Albert Premier Hut

"improving weather" near the Albert Premier Hut

James enjoying the technical slabs of Autoroute Blanche

James enjoying the technical slabs of Autoroute Blanche

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