Friday, 25 September 2009

Aiguille Noire de Peuterey

Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (South Ridge) 1200m, TD.

Write up coming soon... here are some pictures for now!

Cooking up at the amazing Noire (Borelli) Hut

The skyline ridge starting from Point Gambi (big spire on left) to the summit.

2/3rds up the ridge... first time the camera came out.

Making myself comfy on the 1 man bivvy ledge. Byron left me after an hour or so of crouching. Stayed clipped on all night.

Brewing up at 3600m

Arriving at the Bivvy just as the sun went down

The last abseil before the summit......

...before the ropes got stuck, so had to prussik back up the full 50m

Byron with his ladyfriend

Summit view is always amazing.

The descent is long, tedious and hard to follow. Worth getting some good beta on about the descent. We wasted quite a lot of time route-finding on the East ridge.

More write up and beta soon.

Cordier Pillar (take II)

David Hasselhoff called; he wants his shorts back.

Byrons Guest Blog:

Holiday synopsis so far:

- Fly to Geneva
- Drive to Cham (5 pitches climbed)
- Drive to Saalbitschijen (1 pitch climbed)
- Drive to Val di Mello: too tight to pay for guidebook + Guy's rope broken = 2 pitches climbed.
- Drive to Bregaglia (0 pitches climbed)
- Back to Cham where we had a little fun from the Midi.

Not quite the super alpine holiday we had planned!

So...Guy suggests the Cordier Pillar on the Grand Chamoz. "Great!" I say.
"You need a number 5 cam to avoid a 10 metre run out on the final hard pitch" Guy says.
"But they're like, £60 aren't they?"
"£80. We'll just have to man up."

A quick walk from the middle station across some moraines to the bivvy site see's us eyeing up our obvjective and making our beds for the night. A few rocks roll down the glacier but they don't matter as it will all freeze overnight holding them in place.

9:00: The usual pasta dinner to the sounds of some more rockfall doesn't deter our spirits before an early bed and hard day's climbing the next day.
9:20: More rockfall.
9:30: More rockfall
9:35: More rockfall
9:37: Lots more rockfall; getting much more frequent now.
9:38: Pan fall (stove falls off the wall)
9:39: BOOM! Sit bolt upright to witness a shower of sparks sliding down the glacier. "Errr, we have to go across that in the morning" says Guy. "I don't like playing Russian Roulette with a mountain" says I.

The look of delight on Guy's face at another failed route.

9:40: Back down to Cham to a comfortable bed and Guy's drunken housemates.

Plan aborted. Not to worry, next morning Guy hands me a book with our next possible objective - 1200metres of TD climbing. Yeah right, I say...

Saturday, 19 September 2009

L'ete Indien - Mont Oreb

Saturday 19th September

Headed to Le Buet and up the Berard valley today for a late start (with bad weather due) on L'ete Indien. Turns out to be a superb homogenous route at about 6A. Another fantastic outing, looked like it was going to rain all day but managed to hold off.

Byron on the second pitch
Splattered on the superb green slab


Friday, 18 September 2009

Contamine Grisolle (Left Edge) Triangle du Tacul

18th September: Contamine Grisolle (Left Edge) Triangle du Tacul

AD III 350m

An easy line but one I have fancied the look of for a while. After a good kip in the hut, we set out at 7.30am with Byron Buck (Short for Buckminster, long for B) from the hut. Lovely route, good condition right now with a thin covering of consolidated snow to make travel straight forward. Great mixed step (around guidebook pitch 4) to keep things entertaining.

Descended down the NW Slope and onto the normal Mt Blanc du Tacul route, good snow cover on this slope Making the winter season REALLY exciting and seem quite close!

All in all, fantastic route - short enough to knock it off in a morning and tricky enough (if you just follow your nose not the guidebook) to make it more adventurous!

On the starting snow/ice slopes

Getting onto the ramping slope before the mixed step

Came down this afternoon as the weather looks ok to go get on some rock.

September Badile Cassin Project: Still keeping eyes open on the Vicosoprano Meteosuisse forecast for another drive over to the Bregaglia. Looks like tue/wed will be dry and maybe warm enough to start melting snow off the route.... optimistic.

Byron has a treat for you today with a little video:

Cosmiques Arete (Again)

17th September: Took big bags up to the Abri Perroux nr the Col du Midi. For a couple of days of scouting around and having a look.

Lift didnt start up until about 9.30 so we dropped gear off, had a brew and made for the Cosmiques Arete to help Byron get some acclimatising - besides, its always a great route.

Completed that in a couple of hours, realised we forgotten coffee money, so retreated back to the hut for another brew!

Fresh snowfall (maybe 10-15cm in places), but otherwise people were out getting some routes done (Chere Couloir, Mt Blanc du Tacul, Traverse of Lachenal etc etc) not much else.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Valley Cragging (rain dodging)

16th September

More grim weather around (have tried every angle.... morocco, fontainbleau, verdon) all considered. We have decided to stick it out here.

Went to Le Fayet crag this morning then it cleared up a bit and went to Les dalles des aveyron for the afternoon. Nice slab bolt clipping, very chilled.

Decided to head up to the midi tomorrow for a look over the next 3 days just getting an idea whats happening high up.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Val di Mello & Val Bregaglia

Ok..... average news update for September Alpinism here in the alps.

The long awaited 'crowds go away and weather comes good' has not happened. Crowds have gone, rain has come. We went to the Val di Mello for some sport climbing. So we set out without a guidebook and did some roadside cragging. Until pitch 2 when we realised there was serious damage to one of the ropes (ewounder! ... from previous escapade) so had to bail!

Chilled out in the local Cafe which was a cool place called Bar Monica (got hold of the local guidebooks etc) but then it rained...........

So we drove to the Bregagli. our objective was the Cassin Route on the Badile. So the weather looks crap for the rest of the week, we decided to camp out for the week and wait. Next day there was snow to about 2500m. Bugger, road trip continues.

Back in Bondo...ok so snow has come down to 2500m. We need some 25 degreesish weather to clear that before we spin the van back around to come have another go.

Today we headed for Chamonix, at least here we can meet friends, drink beer and get out for gaps in the weather here and there!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Salbitschijen - The greatest granite ridge?

Sat in the car park in Andermatt now after our mission on the West Grat. That route is massive!

Weather.....average - Needless to say we didnt get very far on it (taking too long to do all 33 pitches!). I think this is better re-visited in July in a long day hit. At least now we have the guidebook and some knowledge.

Salbitschjen West Grat - 1000m - ED1 - 6A Obl

Said to be the finest granite ridge?! Shame we cant confirm this just yet!

Looks like rain for the rest of the month, so we are going to stay low and wait for things to brighten up. For some Pizza and Vino we are heading to the Val di Mello (I) now before heading backa round to the Bregaglia for more Badile action.


Les Jumeaux du Brévent - Catyoucha Man

Stunning, inspiring, climbing photography .....

12th September

Byron is here... went for a warm up on Catyoucha today before heading to the Bernese Oberland (Salbitschijen) for something new!

Nice route. Abseil approach was a shame but meant the rotue was quiet. Actually climbd the first pitch of a route to the right 6A before finding it was the wrong route so abseiled to the start of Catyoucha.

Finished before the final corner as we had to hit the road!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tour du Mont Blanc

Mum came out and it was time for a break from L'Alpinism! So Jen joined us and we walked from Chamonix to Courmayeur over 4 days. And why not too! There are some awesome views of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey on the descent to Val Veni...Really want to get on that.

Trading the mother in for Byron today so we will see what that brings! A road trip I feel with a Rock Jock trip to the Bregaglia - Very Exciting!

Check out this cow we found on the way!