Thursday, 23 August 2012

17.08.2012 Mont Blanc 4,810m

Mont Blanc stands confidently over the Chamonix valley at 4,810m  (15,781 ft) tall. Today I set off with my two clients John and Jonny for an ascent via the la voie des 3 monts which is a traverse starting at the summit of the Aiguille du Midi, over the shoulder of Mont Blanc du Tacul to the north facing slopes of Mont Maudit, then down to the col de la Brenva from which starts the actual ascent of Mont Blanc.  This route is more technical than the standard Gouter route due to the steep slopes on Mont Maudit but sees less traffic and more scenery.  Congratulations to both John and Jonny on their summit of this majestic mountain.

The descent ridge from the Midi, at some places barely a foot wide

John and Jonny on the summit

The summit of Mont Blanc 4,810m

Me, enjoying Irn Bru and some of Karen Marwick's home made tablet on the roof of Europe

coming back up the summit ridge to the midi with my two

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

14.08.2012 Aiguillette d'Argentiere

Another beautiful sunlit morning in the Chamonix valley enabled me to take my group of four to the Aiguillette d'Argentiere.  After blitzing the 2 and a half hour guide book approach time in less than an hour and a half we found ourselves standing under this magnificent pillar of rock, rising up from the Aiguille Rouge.  A wonderful days climbing with some great Photos, thanks to my group, John, Jonny, Frankie and David.

Frankie and I on the top

John making the final moves to gain the summit

a good climb and a handshake from John

Jonny (white shirt) and David (black shirt) Stoddern on the top!

12.08.2012 - North Face of Mont Blanc du Tacul

Today I teamed up with my friend Spike Sellers to climb the Contamine - Mazeaud route on the North Face of Mont Blanc du Tacul as an acclimatisation climb before taking my group on the 3 monts traverse of Mont Blanc.  After taking the first lift up the Midi at 0630 and descending the ride to the Col du Midi we started our approach to the Tacul Triangle. The route itself, graded D-, was a spectacular mixed line right up the middle, topping out with some excellent mixed sections on the upper right of the face.  I would thoroughly recommend this route. I will remember this route for a long time, what a spectacular climb, in an amazingly beautiful setting with a very good friend ...what more could you ask for! 

Contamine Mazeaud route 

Me high on the second pitch 

Enjoying Beautiful conditions on the route

Spike looking super cool enjoying the climb

Steep but enjoyable!

Spike leads off on another great mixed pitch

some more good mixed climbing!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

08.08.2012 Ben Nevis mountain path via north face car park!

Yesterday I set out to guide Warren and his two sons on the Carn Mor Dearg ArĂȘte.  After a short while, it became apparent that the youngest member of the team, aged 13, was not really capable of this long and strenuous route.  After considering our options to either ascend Carn Mor Dearg and then back to the north face car park or to cross the river and continue up the mountain path, the team chose to go for the summit! We then took a direct route from the top north face car park to the path besides the half way lochan. This was a river crossing, bog riddled, calf burning endeavour which added another dimension to an already challenging day. We eventually all made it to the summit and achieved our goal, Well done guys!