GUIDING AND CLIMBING IN ALPES

Per Magne on GrandCapucin

Sept 4.2010

After a summer with two much work in Norway I traveled to the Alpes on August 8. for some work and hopefully some climbing on my own. First I traveled to Valais to do a couple of recognition climbs for guiding later in the month. Then I traveled to Chamonix to climb for a week with Trym. But the day Trym arrived it started to rain in town and snow up high and the forecast said it would be like that for 4 days all over the Central Alpes. We packed rope and quickdraws, and together with some friends left Cham and drove down to Ceüse. There, the weather was better but for a mountain guide who mainly been walking and climbing grade 3 all summer, everything but the approach felt very steep.

When weather looked better for the Alpes we went back to Chamonix, there it had snowed  around 50 cm at 3000 meters, but after some days of good weather we hoped that it had melted enough and headed up to the Enveres hut. But we were to early and everything was still wet. Trym went home and the last day before I started working I teamed up with Ole Kristian and Steinar for a day at the south face of Midi. Weather was not very good, light snowfall at times and forecast said thunderstorm in early afternoon so we did Rebuffat to be sure to get up before the weather came. All of us had done the route before, but it was nice to finally do some climbing in the mountains and we had a very fun day, specially at the belays…

On August 21. I started a 6 days Matterhorn program with two Norwegians – Tone and Knut Johan Stenerud. First we had three days in Saastal with some rock climbing on Dri Horlini and a ascent of Weissmies (4017m). In the afternoon on the third day we traveled to Zermatt, there we did Breithorn (4164m) the next day. All week it was very uncertain about how conditions would be on Matterhorn. The big snowfall a week earlier had left around 60cm of snow at the Hörnli hut and a lot more on the mountain. It was melting every day, but we didn’t know if it would be enough. But with the good weather forecast we decided to try. On Matterhorn the guide:client ratio is 1:1 so Rok Zalokar, my Slovenian friend and guide joined us for the ascent. I started early from Zermatt on the 25. to climb a little higher then the Hörnli to check out conditions. I turned back at the Shoulder at 4200m, up to there conditions were good but above it looked like it was a lot of snow. As always on the Hörnli hut, “breakfast” is served at 04.00 and all guided parties start at 04.20. The ascent went OK, some queuing the first hour and the normal chaos on the fixed ropes up high. We summited 08.30 in blue sky and perfect weather. On the descent it was even more chaos than on the ascent but below the Shoulder everything went smoothly and we were at the hut again before 13.00.

After Matterhorn I traveled back Chamonix for some climbing in the mountains. But the weather was not the best and I just ended up rock climbing close to Sallanches and in Italy. When it finally cleared again Per Magne and I had two great days on the granite. The first day we climbed on the south face of Pointe Lachenal and the next day we wanted to try Grand Capucin. Capucin is not a very high summit, but on of the most impressing granite towers in the Mont Blanc massif. The 400 meter high east face has the most challenging routes, we climbed a combination of Voie des Suisses and O Sole Mio on the South face, mostly grade 5 with some pitches of 6. It was for sure on of my best days of rock climbing in the Alpes! Now I start 6 days of work in Chamonix and we hope to climb Mont Blanc.

 

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