Friday, September 11, 2009

Alpine Adventures continue.

In Switzerland follow the signs!

With the settled weather of late summer you would think alpine objectives were easy to come by, however the very dry spell has made the approach to many routes difficult if not impossible and many of the mixed routes are simply too dry to be considered stable, so it has been a time for the thinking caps.
Rock in the Valle Blanche provided much of the entertainment in the first week or so, or though the usual stroll across towards the Torino is worthy of a note to say that is has some pretty nasty holes. Much of the North Face of the Tacul was a shooting gallery with blocks the size of cars comming down on a regular basis.
Perhaps the most stupid place to pitch your tent, extreme sleeping a new sport?

After a brief Swiss interlude, and the South Ridge of the Lagginhorn, the 0 degree isotherm also fell right down to around 2300 mts meaning it was pretty Baltic up high, but still no sign of any meaningful snow.
However the Contamine routes on the NW Triangle of Mount Blanc du Tacul provided brilliant long and relatively objectively safe mixed climbing. The lack of neve and more water ice surface just added to the fun.
Andy and I having fun on the 10 or so pitches of ice.

As you might imagine lower rock routes were very pleasant indeed and the odd sports crag allowed for a productive rest day now and again.
Anyway Andy is still out getting stuff done whilst I returned to do some proper work! Check out his blog for the latest take on conditions and few more pictures.

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