Mar 22, 2014

Mixed up north and south face of aiguille Midi - the perfect summit route tour!

Aig Midi "Le Fil a Plombe - "Voie Rebuffat/Baquet" Face sud Cosmiques

Geared up for an old school climb...?

With a bit of imagination and fantasy there is a whole bunch of options for everything. And finding a classic combination of mixed and pure rock could be one of them?!
The options of climbs from plan du Aguilles in Cham is of course over the limit. But to make use choisir the obvious "le fil a plombe" makes a superb one. And a route that is in perfect nick at the moment. 
Approached from plan de l ´Aiguille and Glaicer des Pèlerins, a 1 1/2h marche a pied….and then a 700mts climb at M4/TD-
Fil a Plombe M4/TD- 700mts, the thin strike of ice to the left of the big seracs

The start is very forward, specially at this time since the sun has put the snow base at its best conditions for a foot approach, nacking hard neige! And same for the first pitches up the snow couloir all the way to the bottom of the crux of the route. 
A 50m 80-85degree ice section which I guess has sent the name of the route. And ce moment…is a little…dèlicate…! Mais bonne!
Off course we didn't make the first bin up to Plan, but since the plan was to bivvy at ref. Cosmiques there was no rush…and with an other gang teams of 4, the risk of getting up to the Compagnies CMB last retour was long gone anyhow
First things first, pitch 1 or something similar… easy warm up terrain

After a peaceful approach we tied in up the glacier Pelerins and en route changed from one to two axes as the cheminèe got steeper, until sat put at the crux pitch. Which was loaded with people, but not so much ice.
Still, enough to hook one self up on. Like a drummer on a beaux minces, just light handed. And a good way of saving time of placing ice screws, since it felt useless, more decoration sort of...
Crux pitch of Fil a Plombe, a drummer...

The "le Fil" is actually a very nice climb, its a reason for its busy time!
Easy approach, no objective dangers and a nice sortie up the traverse the plan to Midi. And with the conditions given to us; sun, zero wind and nice climbers around, juste voila!
Second crux pitch on le Fil...

Finally up the last bit of snowcouloir we got the wind though! So one hand on the ice axe and one on top of the hat to keep it in place, we went wobbling back the ridge towards the refuge and a well deserved dinner, hoppla 

High and happy…just pure joy!

Last bit up to the ridge…just a trip back "home"


Ref. Cosmiques. Which as always serves the most great dinners and the home baked bread makes the breakfast tip top!
So the next morning wasn't just sunny, it was a happy stomach as well. Prepared to work it self up the granite face of Cosmique face sud
Ref. Cosmiques, so much more then just great food…le belle vuie!

Crampons changed to rock shoes, axes to chalk bag and ices crews to jamgloves. A great journey continues towards the summit of Midi. 
And just the fact that monsieur´s Rebuffat and Maurice Baquet climbed this route 1956! But Gaston, he wasn't known for not being a hard passionate grimpeur. So there is no surprise that the grade is HARD at its given 6a/TD, et oui!
Cosmiques face sud, Rebuffat/Baquet voie

It is a un bonne ballade just ignore the grading, its just a number and the retour down back to Chamonix is spectacular as well as always with the CMB Télépherique. THX ´s for the ride back down 
Lars fighting gravity, doing well!

Free basing on Voie Rebuffat/Baquet, alternative variant

Lars fighting gravity, doing well!

le Fil a Plombe; 50m rope, some small/mid size camalotes, a few stoppers and 2-6 ice screws
Rebuffat/Baquet; 50m rope, Camalots 0.4-2.0, a few mid size stoppers and 8 QD´s

Details at 

// L'aventura è dentro di noi (Walter Bonatti)

Mar 19, 2014

Quatre les têtes

les quatere Tetes - vallée l'Arve

A most brilliant flight of the obvious peak high above Sallanche and the valley of l´Arve, Chamonix

Les têtes


Le voie up to les Tetes is most straight forward from Burzier via refuge Doran. And what ever, don't miss the Myrtilles cake at the refuge!


From the hut the path gets steeper and +steeper, but le bellevue..cette juste tres bien, voila!

Once at the Tete summit the options to fly down is BIG. The best and most adrenalin one os the one to the south, just takes a bit of nil wind or head wind. Turbulance works out, but the couple of hundred meters drop makes it a bit…

Départ Doran


With a north wind there is still a lot of other take off directions, really every choise of direction. The sky is the limit!

Et bonne voile...




L'aventura è dentro di noi


Mar 12, 2014

Star Academixte M6 - Ski in, ski out

Reached via the aig. Midi lift pointe Lachenal is a most pratique place to climb on on an lazy day in the mountains
And, don't miss a visit to the glass minter a top of Midi

Depending on the number of people on the arete down to the glacier and the amount of neige poudreuse, the approach is still just a few minutes away. And only downhill. Park the skis at the base of the rock and start climbing. Once on the top there is good rappel anchors in place on most of the routes, so just rap back to the ski boots. Or if you are equipped with Dynafit TLT ones, or similar, just rap in to the bindings of the skis and there is a Vallee Blanche run down back to town via "le Merde du Glace"
Pointe Lachenal

We headed for the little climb of "Star Academixte". A 250mts climb on mostly rock at the grade of M6
The belays are prepared with slings but it dosnt look like its one of the most popular routes here so most of them was in quite bad shape. But better now since we put in new ones at most places on the way back down
Star Academixte M6

Its a really nice climb that has some exposed sections, but mostly well protected. And don't bother to bring any ice screws, the climbing is mostly on perfect rock. And since many of the mixed ones are out of shape at the moment, this is always in!
Star Academixte M6

Star Academixte M6

Star Academixte M6

And as said in the beginning, the return from the climb is just brilliant with skiing all the way down to Chamonix

2x50m rope for rappeling
1 small set of wires
3-4mid size Camalots up to no#1
5-6 QD´s

//Ibland känns sanningen mest i sina egna tvivel

Mar 2, 2014

Classic ice routes a la Cogne - bonne glace - WI6 week

A whole bunch of seldom frozen up ice routes are suddenly in perfect nick, or "nickel" aka bonne etat

As always, Cogne deliveres and routes as "Repentance Super" WI6, "Sogno di Patagonia" WI5, "Colonnato Centrale" WI6 and even the seldom totally formed "Hard Ice direct" WI6 is formed. It was also quite close that "Pattinaggio artistico direct" WI5+ had formed up! The weather has just been perfect in an ice climbing point of view…

So we planned a WI6 week and headed to Cogne, via the classic "Nuit Blanche" WI6 in Argentiere


First out, the Nuit Blanche, we headed up an unusual crowded Grand Montet telephrique!=? Which just as we was entering the final stands de cache decided to break down

Finally up at the top of the climb the weather was perfect, blue sky with a shining yellow BIG sun. So why not take the chance of rappelling down in the shadow behind the walls with covered surroundings of glaciers. In the constant background noise of falling seracs!

Cogne, Eau de cristaux WI4

Rappeling down has the advantage of getting a good view of the route, which turned out to be condition superb, including a shower pitch. So just do it!

The first pitch is a nice warm up, low angel to get the calfs waking up

Second pitch…oh its a wet on. The umbrella pitch with big U, at least this day

Arriving the belay i quickly do an upper body undressing show, diving in to my down sweater and just can't wait to get a top in the sunbath tube la Bas

Then, with everything climbed, the only dangerous part saved to last, getting back down the pist to the lift station, oh la la


Poupular or what!? Hard Ice in the Rock base


Early morning i Cogne village


Une espresso double là-bas and off to Cogne. A most snowy and cold Cogne, which is quite calm during the week

But, avoid the popular routes during the week-end…!

oh, la la, approach to Repentance a sunday sunny morning in fevrier

Ice climbers is a bit like birdwatchers, if a rare species is passing or visiting, the alarm runs, same thing when the

word spreads about a rare route in nick. Thanks to all blogger´s !

Belay 1st pitch of Repentance
2nd Pitch of Repentance
Pattinaggio Artistico direct, M7+
Hard Ice direct, WI6


Nice and good places to stay in Cogne

Hotel la Barme, Valnontey

Recidence Chateau Royal


//La Quinta del sordo