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…

Salbitschijen, West Ridge

As we sat outside the bivi hut cooking dinner in the last of the evening sun, Sam got chatting to one of the Swiss climbers who also had their eye on the west ridge. Predictably the conversation soon turned to how long we hoped to climb the ridge in. With 32 pitches of climbing, mostly in the…

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…

The Frendo Spur

Chatting over climbing ideas with Joel, he suggested a one day bin-to-bin ascent of the Frendo Spur. I wasn’t sure this was the most sensible idea. Chamonix was in the midst of a scorching heatwave and whilst the rock would be dry, making for quick and fun climbing in the lower section, the snow and…

Afanasieff-Bodin

I’m lucky to live in Chamonix. Home to many world class climbing routes with quick and easy access, its a climbing mecca. The problem is everyone knows this. As a result, climb one of Cham’s popular classic in the summer and you’ll often find yourself jostling for position with several other parties. This can detract from the experience to say…