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August Showers

23/09/2014



Early August brought more challenging weather to Chamonix. However, there's always something to do if you think laterally, and you're prepared to drive a little.

My first bit of work was supposed to be a traverse of the Eiger. Unfortunately the Eiger was buried under deep snow and the hut was closed. Instead we decided on a traverse of the M in Chamonix. It's not in the big league as the Eiger is, but it is a great climb, and I thought we could do it even if it was a bit wet. Setting off in low cloud we climbed steadily to the bottom of the route. Passing showers fortunately gave way to sunshine and the granite soon dried. After that we had a great climb up the NNE ridge. The climbing was definitely "old-school", with wide cracks and burly moves all the way. Still, we had the climb to ourselves, and it was a good day out.

The following day we headed to the Aravis for an ascent of the Arete du Doigt. Unfortunately, despite the promising forecast, the clouds hung low and we turned around after the walk in. Instead we headed to a local crag and spent the afternoon working on climbing technique and belaying/abseiling skills. It wasn't the Eiger weekend we had been hoping for, but it was fun.

Next I was guiding a visiting Aussie for a couple of days. Luke was looking to work on his personal skills so that when his friend (and more experienced alpine partner) arrived he could get straight out and enjoy himself. Luke traversed the Aiguille Crochue and the Aiguille Marbree, concentrating on using the rope to protect himself and his partner. He climbed well, and after two days had the skills needed to get stuck in with his friend.


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