We spent all of July in France. Three weeks in Chamonix and one week in Saint Gervais with friends. I have hundreds of photos and pages of journal entries to sort through so this is nothing more than a brief roundup of our time spent and climbs done. ( Read more... )
Scouring the guidebook for routes. Of the 3 straightforward routes, the Gouter route (which is considered the normal route) has you ascend the Grand Couloir; a 1500' wall of choss that shreds rocks and kills people on a regular basis. The Tres Monts route is touted by one guidebook as having the lowest objective danger... But last week 9 people were killed in an avalanche on the route.
That leaves the North Ridge; low objective danger and an elegant ridge to almost 14,000'. The only problem is the approach; 1 hour below the Midi (high risk of rockfall), 20 minutes below seracs and a crevasse field called La Jonction, which is so bad the guidebook actually says "call the hut warden about conditions". ( Read more... )