View from the col before the climb on to Domes de Miage
Les Grand Jorasse
Nik, Duncan and I, traveled to Chamonix. Where we had planned to do mixture of a few different routes and hope that my sister and experienced friend would join us on some routes later in the week. Things don't always go to plan and a day of rock climbing in the week would be the closest we got to this.
Duncan and I did manage to complete Domes de Miage and long but beautiful and not difficult snow/ice ridge line in amazing conditions. But the walk out in old boots for both of us would prove to be agony (new boots required all round). So a couple of days of rest, boot hunting without success and then a day on the rock in Vallorcine, for Duncan and I this was done in approach shoes. Nik and I did an easy multi-pitch that was superb. Whilst Duncan and Kath, climbed single pitch routes as Duncan's feet were still a mess.
Domes de Miage
Duncan on Domes de Miage
On Friday Nik, Duncan and I headed for Arete des Cosmiques as early as we possibly could. Whilst Nik is experienced with ice tools, Scottish Winter routes, Norwegian and French ice, it was a first for her Alpining and as the planned acclimatisation hadn't panned out, it was going to be tough.
The softening snow and Duncan's and my ability when leading to find every bit of AD ground and exposed bit of the route added (that is to say we never got lost, just kept avoiding the crowds) to the first time experience for Nik.
Nik and Duncan Arete des Cosmiques
We chatted and laughed with some French guides and their clients at the ab station, crossed the loosening rock and melting snow and enjoyed an exposed alternative finish, which had me casually walking across a slab with an abyss directly below, this was only noticed as I was half way across. It focused my mind a bit.
Top of Aguille du Midi
All 3 of us stood on the balcony of the Aguille du Midi and Duncan and I congratulated Nik for her shere determination and good skills on the route. Next time, we will make sure we "all" acclimatise correctly.
An afternoons riding on the Saturday was the best we could muster and the Sunday saw the long return journey. In short a great little trip, with only a couple of ticks missed, they will be there next year, this winter or the year after................Denali now beckons!