Blog Posts in Category: Alpinism

A Week in the Ecrins

For the past few years the weather has always been very unsettled during the time I have spent in the alps, so it has been great this year that the weather has been very stable since the day after we arrived. This year we have started our Alps trip in Ailefroide in the Ecrins. On the first day the weather forecast for the afternoon wasn’t brilliant so we headed for some local multi-pitch rock climbing before the storm came in. As it was the first day we were a bit slow getting started, so our early start turned into a leisurely midday start. After enjoying six pitches of excellent climbing on brilliant rock we got to the top just as the forecast downpour hit. This lead to a rather soggy abseil off in the rain, before walking back and enjoying a well earnt drink in Ailefroide. Roche Faurio With a stable weather forecast for the next week we decided to head up into the high mountains for three days. We chose to acclimatise by climbing Roche Faurio at 3730m before climbing the Barre des Ecrins at 4102m. What I didn’t. Read the full article…

Salbitschijen Rock Climbing

Prior to my trip out to the alps I started doing some research into alternative plans due to the poor alpine conditions. During this research I stumbled across the Salbit, a peak in central Switzerland which has three major ridges which all provide excellent climbs of varying difficultly. In addition to the major ridges, there are numerous other multi pitch routes. Due to a week of poor weather dumping a considerable amount of snow on the high alpine peaks, we decided to stay low and do some multi-pitch rock climbing instead. The obvious destination was to head to the Salbit and attempt the classic Sudgrat, a 600m long granite ridge, and top out on the summit needle. Due to the weather window we had we decided to walk up to the Salbit hut early in the morning before heading out to climb a 13 pitch ridge which is above the hut, called the Hüttengrat. Hüttengrat, Gemsplanggenstock We competed the walk in very quickly, shaving an hour off the 2h30 book time. While we were walking in there were fantastic atmospheric views, unfortunately the atmospheric views did not continue and shortly. Read the full article…

Bernese Oberland – South to North Traverse

Due to a last minute change of plan I ended up joining Becky and David on their alps trip. As they had just spent a week in the Monte Rosa this provided a challenge due to my lack of acclimatisation. For the past few years I have always acclimatised reasonably slowing, which meant I had no idea how well I would cope with going up high quickly. As we had a four day weather window Becky and I decided to head up into the Bernese Oberland from Fiesch and climb some mountains while heading to the Jungfraujoch train station where we were going to meet Dave to climb the Mönch and Jungfrau. This enabled me to get up high, but while staying relatively low at 2850m. Day 1: Fiesch to Konkordia Hut The first day involved a long glacier walk up the Aletsch Glacier to the Konkordia hut at 2850m. The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps, and walking up it certainly made us feel very small and insignificant while we were surrounded by such a large expanse of ice. The walk up the glacier seemed to take. Read the full article…

Rébuffat Route – Aiguille Du Midi

With yet another weather window of only one day we decided to head up the Aiguille du Midi cable car and climb the classic Rébuffat Route on the south face of the Aiguille du Midi. It was very bizarre being in Chamonix in the morning and an hour later rock climbing at 3800m. The descent down the arete out of the Midi was spectacular with a massive cloud inversion, with only some of the larger peaks sticking out of the cloud, during the approach to the midi and on the descent it became clear that there had been a large amount of snow in the previous days storm, this combined with the very cold air temperatures made us wonder if the route would be climbable. As we approached the climb there were two parties in front of us, but it turned out that they were backing off due to ice. We decided that it didn’t look that bad and decided to continue and have a look for ourselves, and I am so glad we did! We decided to climb the route with our boots and crampons at the bottom, with. Read the full article…