M6 Solar

With the Midi set to close for its seven week annual maintenance this Sunday, yesterday Alex and I headed up high to make the most of the quick day-hit alpinism that the lift offers. Our chosen route was M6 Solar, a modern mixed line on Pointe Lachenal. The day didn’t get off to the best start.…

Tentation

Earlier this week, Alex and I set off to attempt a route called Tentation, a little known mixed line on Pointe Lachenal put up by Jon Bracey and Nick Bullock in the winter of 2006-07. Below is my account of our battle up their line. In homage to Nick’s original trip report (click here), the account is light on useful route-finding beta but…

Pellissier Gully

Today Alex and I headed up the Midi to check out Pellissier Gully, a classic mixed route just a short walk away from the lift station. We’d heard the gully was in okay condition so expected to find a bit of ice interspersed with some moderate mixed. To our surprise, we found it in exceptionally fat conditions. Climbing it…

Rebuffat-Terray

Pitch after pitch of perfect snow and ice. Autumn 2014? Nope, yesterday on the Rebuffat-Terray, a classic Chamonix ice and mixed line. Current valley consensus seems to be that ice and mixed conditions are frankly a bit shit. Thinking otherwise, Alex and I decided to head up to give this route a go. Fortunately our hunch…

The Giant’s Tooth

Earlier this week Joel, Ali and I headed up to attempt one of Chamonix’s classic alpine challenges, the Dent du Géant (or the “Giant’s Tooth” for those who don’t parle français). The Dent is an exceptionally aesthetic peek that soars out of the long ridge line defining the the French-Italian border and is one of Chamonix’s most recognisable…

Mont Blanc du Tacul, Gervasutti Pillar

I looked up at the pillar, considering it in its entirety for the first time. I turned to Alex. “It’s not quite how I imagined it…. it looks longer…. and steeper…” Little then did I know how prescient these words would prove. 30 minutes later we were at the foot of the pillar and gearing up. The…

Mont Blanc du Tacul, Arête du Diable

I’m not overly into ridge routes. Some people love them, but I often find the awkward rope work, broken ground and frequent rappels a bit of a faff. However, even the most ridge-averse alpinist would struggle not to see the appeal in Mont Blanc du Tacul’s Arête du Diable, an exceptionally aesthetic ridge on good rock…