ALPINE CLIMBING CHAMONIX

Oct 14. 2009

After a long summer of guiding I finally got to do some climbing on my own. In late September Eiliv Ruud and I travelled to Chamonix in hope of good conditions on big alpine faces. But the temperature when we arrived gave better condition on south facing rock then on north facing ice. We had some good days on rock and got acclimatized at the same time. Standing on the summit of Tacul, after a ice-climb on the Triangle we thought we saw some ice in the east face of Maudit. Some days later we enjoyed good conditions on Roger Baxter-Jones Direct in the east face.

We hoped that the north face of Grand pilier d’Angle on Mont Blanc would be in. And we made the long hike over to Col Moore to find out that the face was in, but the rest of the approach looked very, very dangerous after the warm summer. We walked home.

In early October we hiked up the Leschaux glacier to the base of Grand Jorasses north face. The next day we climbed a combination of the Slovenian route and the Croz, giving a perfect combination of ice, snow and rock on a big and beautiful face. Because of the state of the south face and the fact that the Major of Courmayeur has “closed” the Italian side of Jorasses, we didn’t summit Pte Walker, the high-point of Jorasses. We abseiled straight down the south face from Pte Croz, avoiding the super-dangerous hanging glacier on the normal route descent. The whole thing was quite scary and keeping our attention all the way down. But 14 hours after we started climbing, we was drinking beer in a Italian bar…

Photo-credit: Eiliv Ruud and Nils Nielsen

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