Posts Tagged ‘Eiger’

LES DROITES AGAIN, EIGER AGAIN and LES DROITES SOLO

Me close to the summit of Droites. Photo: Colin

I’ve never been very creative and I think the last two weeks of climbing proves that.

Colin and me wanted to do a link-up of the north faces of Les Droites and Grandes Jorasses. This ment taking skies, stove and food for day two up and down the Droites. It’s not that many routes in conditions on the north face and since we wanted to go to the true summit we ended up on Messner again. The conditions was, as last time, very good and we soloed the first half of the face and climbed the rest in three long pitches. We started from first lift and did’t rush since our backpacks were heavy and we wanted to save some energy for the next day, but we summited after a little more than 6 hours on the face. On the descent, experiencing really bad snow conditions we decided to change plans and not go for the Jorasses the next day. We feared that the snow would be as bad and dangerous on the Italian of Jorasses. Instead of going to the Leschaux hut we skied to the Charpoua winter hut. The next day, without kowing much about the peak or how to get there we set of to climb Aig. de Triolet. The attempt ended on a false summit witch we should have traversed around on the north. Non of us were keen on not catching the last train from Montenvers so we called it a day and skied home.

Colin was super psyched on climbing the north face of Eiger and asked me if I wanted to climb it with him. Immediately after climbing Eiger in February I didn’t think I would even consider climbing it again. But on the other hand, the north face of Eiger is one of the most impressive feathers in the Alpes, so I couldn’t say no to such a opportunity either. We new that conditions was good after almost a week of good weather and traveled to Switzerland on April 9. We hoped for a fast ascents and planed to start climbing at fist light around 6. It was weekend and I conditions has been pretty good on Eiger all winter so we were not the only one on the face. All together we saw 8 other teams on the face, unfortunately most of them started before us.

We started climbing at 06.15 and soloed up to just before the Difficult crack where we had to wait for a while on another team. Colin led it and and climbed a little further to pass the team in front of us. I took over and climbed one very long pitch until the start of the ramp. We brought a lot of slings witch made it possible to simul-climb a lot. On this pitch we past 4(!) teams before the 2. ice field. Colin led the Ramp to the top of the Waterfall pitch in two pitches before I continued all the way to the gullies above the Spider. We climbed that in two pitches and I made a belay just below the Quarts crack. From there, Colin took us to the summit witch we reached at 14.00. We rested and hydrated for a little while before we down climbed the south-west flank. The descent was straight forward and we were back at Eigergletscher 11 hours after we started.

Back in Chamonix, Colin been busy with the Piolets d’Or the last days and I’ve been without a partner. But the weather has been a bit on and off and I also had a sore throat so I have not got much climbing done. But yesterday I headed up in the Argentier basin again to do a climb thats been on my mind for a long time. Last year I climbed the Ginat in the North face of Les Droites with Colin on dry conditions. This year, conditions been very good and it was time to climb it by myself. I started from the first lift and crossed the bergschround around 10. After the snowfall the last week there were quite much snow on the lower part of the route. What earlier this year (when climbing Messner) had been perfect neve and easy to climb, was now covered in snow. So, to climb it as safe as I wanted I had to move slow and be careful on each move. But on the steeper, upper part of the route conditions were better and I could enjoy the climbing. The crux was, as normal, the last steep part just before the snow couloir on top. I finished at the Breches des Droites and raped down the south side from there. I climbed with skis on my backpack so I could get down on the south side as easy as possible. The skiing down Glacier de Telefre was fun and I was on Montenvers in time to catch the 16.00 train.

Easter will be spent skitouring in the Alpes. Tomorrow I start another Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Weather forecast looks good – or maybe not for the skiing – sunny for one week.

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