Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

Turnip carvery courtesy of Ian!

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Seam, Coire an t-Sneachda - Monday 25th October

Still more photos and videos to come from the summer but it's about time I got my blog back on track so an up-to-date update today.
Clear skies last night gave a good frost in Aviemore and with the hills looking wintry, Ron and I decided to pack our climbing kit and take a walk in Coire an t-Sneachda for a look to see what we could find to climb.
The Fiacaill Buttress side of the coire caught our eye, it certainly looked more snowy and white than the Mess of Pottage. We chose The Seam and found our first two pitches were rather crusty snow which felt a bit uncertain especially given that the cracks for gear were hidden by the snow and rime and the turf was not properly frozen. On the final pitch, Ron climbed up clearing away the snow and digging out ice from the ledges and cracks.

Amethyst Pillar, Coire Sputan Dearg - Monday 11th October

A great day out, a long walk and an excellent route.
See Ron's photos and video clip here

Skye - Saturday 25th to Monday 27th September

Finger's Ridge - Sunday 12th September

Not many photos for this day but good to be out and scrambling at home again!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A bouquet of alpine flowers

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

And a selelction of other pictures from the summer!

More to follow

Manhattan - Thursday 26th August

Voie Georges - Wednesday 25th August

Voie Georges, a lovely route on the slabs above the Mer de Glace.
We climbed a route alongside Voie Georges last year so thought that the start would be familiar but strangely enough, it wasn't! In fact we managed to do a whole pitch before we were back on ground we remembered. Later, we found out that this was due to the glacier retreating which meant a whole new section of slab was exposed.
We picked our way through the damp streaks to get onto the steep granite slabs and some exciting crack climbing too. There were some strange waterworn pockets in the rock at one of the belays. The setting is fantastic with views across to the glacier to the Grands Jorassses.

Krakoukass - Monday 23rd August

A fun climb on the Brevent side of the Chamonix valley which links an arete and some slabs with a bit of walking in between!

La Berarde - Friday 20th August

A short train journey from Chamoinx to Le Buet and a walk up the lovely valley towards Mont Buet. This area is so much more peaceful than around Chamonix and it has some good rock climbing too and we plan to go back to climb L'Ete Indien.

La Grave to Chamonix - Friday 13th August

We left La Grave by driving over up and over the high pass of the Col du Galibier and back down through beautiful scenery to Chamonix and a week of rain!

Rive droite - Wednesday 11th August

Climbing on the right bank of the cascade - La Saut de la Pucelle. This was very atmospheric and interesting climbing with the rock type changing throughout the route.
These routes are named according to the direction of flow of the waterfall so Rive Droite, or right bank, is on the left as you face the waterfall. Most confusing!

Or click on the link here

Cragging rive gauche - Thursday 12th August

photos to follow

Grands Clots via ferrata - Sunday 8th August

Another hot and sunny day after a clear, cold night.
The Grands Clots Via Ferrata is near Le Freux just down the road from La Grave. It follows the mining tracks and paths that formed the old silver, lead, coal and slate mines which dated back to the 10th Century and were finally closed down in 1926. The height gain from the start of the route to the Plateau d'Emparis far above is 750metres with the first 400metres being the steepest. After that, it has some short steep sections and meandering paths and tracks from where the views across to La Meije are just fantastic. The disctance on foot is about two kilometres and that's not including the walk off from the plateau down through the village of Le Chazelet and back to La Grave.
A great and vey full day out!

Arete de la cascade - Monday 9th August

Or click on this link to see the video

This route was first equipped by the Guides of La Grave in the 1960s and it has been re-equipped since. We found the first pitch a bit polished which probably wasn't something to be surprised about given the age of the route however the rest of the route, the arete proper, was excellent with the climbing on steep, jaggy rock moving from one side of the arete to the other.

The descent was by foot down a rather exposed route with a couple of bolts here and there then lower down it joins the path coming out from the little cragging area alongside and back to the road.

Grade AD+, 5b max, 120m.

More photos to follow.

Chemin du Roy - Saturday 7th August

The Chemin du Roy cliff is just before the Col de Lauteret on the Briancon side. The climbing is limestone, a bit polished at the start but much better higher up. We found that there was quite a bit of scope for linking uo different routes and the two upper pitches must have been bolted recently as we could find no mention of them in our guide book.

Grades 5b,5b, 5a, 4b, 5c (?), 5c (?)

Ailefroide to Col du Lauteret - Friday 6th August

We drove from Ailefroide to the Col du Lauteret at 2058m and just above the village of La Grave. The views from the col made it a great place to stop for the night though when the sun dropped behind the hills, the temperature dropped noticeably. Down in the village of La Grave there was a hard frost in the morning so possibly it was slightly warmer at the col.
There is an official camping car area at the col which has no facilities though limited facilities and fresh water were available at the National Park building at the col.

L'intorminable agonies de chamois borgne - Wednesday 4th August

Our last route in Ailefroide again at Secteur Engilberge and another of the new routes in the area.
Spot the butterfly in the top picture!
Grade D+, 6a max, 5c obligatory, 120m

Caramba - Tuesday 3rd August

Caramba! Mais c'est du VI is another of the new routes on Secteur Engilberge. With a short approach and abseil descent, it makes a good route for a short day though it can be very busy.
Grade D+, 6a max, 5c obligatory, 120m