Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alps 2009

This years climbing has taken me from the depths of winter in Poland to the Lofoten Islands in Arctic Norway. For my last trip this year i choose the majestic Mont Blanc Massif with my friend and mentor Declan McGuirk. We decided to do the Cosmiques Arete and the Chere couloir.

The ArĂȘte des Cosmiques is one of the most popular routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, and deserviedly so. It is not too difficult, though has a few challenging sections, it is outrageously exposed with incredible views, it is varied, with both rock and ice climbing, and it has a very easy approach by way of cable car from Chamonix. Great invention by the way!

The Chere couloir is located on the North Face triangle of Tacul. It is without doubt the classic of the face. Its about 350 metres high and carries 6 to 7 pitchs of ice up to 85 degrees. Quality climbing and ease of access make it a popular climb. We got up early enough to beat the the first groups and so had the route to ourselves. This meant that we experienced less debris from other parties.

The day done we retire to the Cosmiques hut for a well earned rest and meal. The climb looked all the more beautiful at the end of the day as Declan and myself sipped an ice cold beer with the sun setting. Very Romantic!

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