Chamonix Thursday 22nd July - via ferrata and Alpine Update

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Thursday 22nd July 2010

Greetings and salutations.

       This week I have mostly been doing other things.........

via ferrata Le Mont at Sixt Fer a Cheval 

 via ferrata Le Mont at Sixt Fer a Cheval

So Sunday we went round to Samoens, well Sixt Fer A Cheval, about 2 hrs drive from Cham, to do Via Ferrata Le Mont. I've done it before a while ago, but just needed to get a new view of it. It's 800 metres long, can take up to 3 to 4 hrs to do, especially if you get caught up behind folks. It takes about 20 mins to walk up to it, has a small café at the bottom and,  close by - within walking distance, some very good cragging, slightly overhanging bolted routes and a small area of more user friendly routes close by as well.

via ferrata Le Mont at Sixt Fer a Cheval

Via ferrata Le Mont - photo courtesy of Christian Granier - check out his website

Monday we went up to the Aiguilles Rouges to do the Perseverance/Chamois Traverse, great rock route, at about D grade for the first peak, then 2 abbs into the col, onto the ridge up to the Chamois. The descent is quite straight forward and leads back to Lac Blanc and the lift down, unless you've walked up from the valley.

Tuesday; yet another Via Ferrata - Curalla, just down the road above Passy. It's a great little venue with fab views of the Blanc; mainly a traverse with the odd bit of up thrown in for good measure and a few cable bridges to negotiate.

via ferrata Curalla at Passy

The passarelle on via ferrata Curalla, Passy 

It was a super hot day, so decided to to go for a swim in a nearby lake lower down in the valley, very refreshing. I chatted to some mates who had just done the Voie des Dalles on the Pouce, on the Aiguilles Rouges. They took their axes with them and did find that they used them in places.


Now, as for other things getting done in the valley, the following routes are from the route book in the Guides office in Cham, so have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as I'm only going on what people have written, not what I've seen or heard.

Tour Noir Traverse -  done on 15th July, reported that the couloir was loose and icy at the bottom, but the ridge itself was great.

Kuffner Arete - 18th July, soft snow and tough going, again not surprising given the temps in the valley and high freezing levels.

Forbes Arete - 20th July, again soft snow, even after early start, but it sounds like they had a good time.

Midi Plan Traverse to the Requin Hut was done on 20th July, which given the heat and the not so good state of the glacier, is a damn fine effort. The report was written in German, and mine aint that good, so it was hard to really decipher any useful info. Sorry.

Ober Gabelhorn in Switzerland by its AD route on 21st July, snow arête was soft but rock super dry, done in good time and not too many people on it. Good effort guys and gals.


Sounds like the Normal route on the Tacul is shrinking away from us, a few more slots showing up since my trip there last week, the ladder is still there and will continue to be so for quite a while.

 The route up Mont Blanc on the Gouter side is getting just as much action, but lots of stone fall reported in the Grand Couloir. With 2 deaths last week in the couloir, it's important to check out the Guides' Office in Cham for up to date conditions. And always hire a fully qualified Mountain Guide if you don't have the skills and experience to tackle this terrain.

The weather is about to crap out for the next few days, bit of rain and storm action, then picking up again for next week, but staying cooler. If that happens, would be great for the snow pack and the Alps in general.

Well that's about it for this week, I'm back in action again next week. As per usual folks do your research, be safe and have fun.


via ferrata Curalla at Passy

Read more blog entries by Rob Wills Alpine Blog

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