Saturday 24 April 2010

Location, Location, Location

I love the spring time in Chamonix, it’s relatively quiet around the valley, the weather, more often than not, is settled, seasonal work is finished and the options for playing are endless. In the last five days I’ve had four very different days out climbing.
Monday was a big mixed alpine line on a 4000m peak (see previous post ‘Too Late To Say I’m Sorry’). Tuesday ended up as a forced rest day due to not been fit enough for the previous day! Wednesday and we made the steep walk up to Bionassay crag just above Saint Gervais for an afternoon of steep limestone bolt clipping, well trying to anyway, just like the legs weren’t strong enough for a big alpine day the arms definitely aren’t strong enough for Bionassay just yet.
Thursday Colin and I headed up the Midi with skis and rock boots for some alpine granite crack climbing. A quick ski down to the base of the Contamine route on Point Lachenal and you can quite literally step out of your bindings and on to 250m of perfect warm sunny rock (the perfect way to approach a climb??) before abseiling back to the skis. Then a good spring ski back to the Montenvers train station and a late lunch in Chamonix. Friday was multi pitch climbing on the big limestone cliffs of Balme down in the Arve valley. Jonny and I did a route called ‘Le vieux de la montagne’, 7 pitches of technical slabs and steep walls on good quality limestone.
Easy access alpine rock climbing
Colin high on the Contamine Route, Point Lachenal

Top of the Contamine route before a quick abseil down the route and a good spring ski back to the valley

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