Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A quick cragging hit

Today we headed down from Chamonix to a friends house in Bonneville.  After coffee and croissants we packed light bags and went to a brilliant sport climbing crag called Malsaire.  It was a beautiful day for cragging but the mountains were still looking forbidding with dark fast-moving clouds.  We climbed heaps of routes, which was a nice change to the past few weeks of hard work!  The day just got better and better.  We returned back to Paul's place where he had fired up the hot tub and soaked in it, drinking Martinis.  Then his wife made us a massive dinner.  Rock and roll lifestyle!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Shut down by the weather .... again!

After our very successful tour in Switzerland the four of us all headed back to the climbing and skiing mecca of Chamonix - home of Mont Blanc, which was Mike's objective on skis.  Paul, John and I, just wanted to climb!  We left our skis at the van and made two attempts to climb Supercouloir (ED2).  Unfortunately our first attempt failed at the lift station; due to technical problems the lift didn't leave until 9.30am.  This was not quite enough time for us to complete our objective.  So we waited and then decided to head up and bivi on the mountain.  This meant a 3am start, giving us plenty of time to climb the route.  On arrival, we opted for the Gervasutti start (ED1) which is a few pitches of rock climbing.  After one and a half pitches, none of us had any feeling in our fingers. The winds were strong, spindrift and mini avalanches were pouring down our intended route....It wasn't looking good! After lots of humming and hawing, we decided to call it a day and head back to the bivi hut, where we found Mike who had also bailed off his Mont Blanc summit attempt.  Another time hopefully!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Back to the Eiger! Ski touring in Switzerland

The Eiger was our starting point - not the summit but the car park below the North Face.  This was by far the best ski tour of the trip with several 4000m peaks, some quite technical.  Amazing powder to ski down, amazing weather (almost), great company and great food but very very expensive water!  A really fun few days in the mountains!
Looking to the Eiger from Jungfrau

Me, John and Paul on top of |Jungfrau

Our descent.  You can just make out the boys coming down the powder

Living the dream!

Absolutely knackered after our second 4000m peak of the day

On top of our fourth 4000m peak of the tour.  We did the one behind too.

Bad vis on our final descent!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Bouldering in Italy

We got a tip-off that there was a bouldering festival in a place called Mello Blocco.  So we went.  We bouldered.  We got stickers.  We got freebies.  We met celebrities.  We ate.  We drank.  We partied till the early hours!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sport climbing in Finale

More rain

BBQ and beers!

John crushing

Me crushing
The weather was very poor in the mountains so we decided to head south for a spot of sport climbing.  We went to the justifiably popular Finale beautifully situated on the Mediterranean coast.  We met up with John and Paul again who had finished their Grand Paridiso tour.  We climbed for five days at different venues, mainly getting lots of mileage and onsighting routes up to 6c+.  I've lost lot of strength over the winter! :(