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Anyone in Chamonix next week?

Original Post
John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

I'm currently in Chamonix - my first trip here - and will be climbing with a guide Sat-Mon.  But I'd love to get another day or two Tuesday or Wednesday.  PD/AD is fine, maybe even D as I get a better idea of what the ratings really mean here.  Alpine or rock (SE ridge, l'Index?). I'm safe, like moderate climbs, have climbed Whitney E Face, Swiss Arete, Dana and North Peak couloirs, Shasta.  I have everything I need except rope and rack, so if you have them and need a partner PM me  I'll be checking MP morning and late afternoon Cham time.  

Sean Maher · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 1,245

What have you climbed during your time there, and what has the weather been like ? We are rolling in on Thursday and hoping to go straight up to Refuge des Cosmiques for a few days. Forecast says its pretty stormy up there though...

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0


Saturday I did the Pointe Lachanel Traverse (starting at the Midi), then up the Lawrence Arete, lunch at the Cosmiques hut, then the Cosmiques back to the Midi.  Seven hours round trip. Weather ranged from sun to light snow flurries. Sunday was thick mist and we climbed heard the Index on rock.  Yesterday we went up the Tour Ronde north face, but the ice was rotten beneath about ten inches of fresh snow.  It had been a warm spell until the rain and snow of last Tuesday-Friday, so the ice wasn't good, and the snow had not consolidated yet. Yesterday and today have been beautiful, and it should last another few days at least.  Going home Saturday so I haven't checked the weather past Friday.  This is my first trip to Cham and it is awesome.  Best wishes for your climbing.  Let me know if you have any other questions.  Don't buy your lift passes day to day; you can buy for as many days ass you wish and the price drops dramatically.  I paid $200 for nine days use of ALL the lifts in the valley, plus it covers the local bus.  Best deal in town.

pjc30943 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Conditions have been variable as you said... We've encountered rotten ice/snow in some places (due to recent storms), bare black ice patches alternating with plunge stepping (due to windblowing and the heat wave beforehand and presently). In general, snowbridges in some places are weaker than normal for this time of year, and there are more slides and serac falls in areas like the tacul.

Right now it's two days of sunny weather, which will likely make things more unstable. The freezing level is pretty high for the rest of the week, and it looks like it'll storm after that for a few days. As a summary, conditions have been a bit unpredictable and unstable, but climbing is possible on most routes if choosing the right line, and heading up early.

Sean Maher · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 1,245

Can confirm incredible scenery but really warm and mushy conditions at Aiguille du Midi and Pointe Lachenal. Bergshrund + crevasse conditions at the base of Eperon des Cosmiques were too scary for us and we were moving too slowly to compete with the crowds on the Rebuffat-Baquet.  Just being up there amongst the spires and glaciers made our year though! I look forward to returning some day with more alpine experience and hopefully better conditions.  We got in some low-stress climbing on Le Brevent and Les Gaillands.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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