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Friday 13th - a good day in the mountains

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Friday 13th August 2010
 

Cham Blog week 8th August - oooh Friday 13th.  Now wasn't that brave of me to go out on Friday 13th.

Midi Plan Traverse

 Midi Plan Traverse

Ok then, rock and rollers, let's get the party started. This week has been a real mixed bag of weather, its been all over the place. Monday super hot, Tuesday not too bad with 60% sun. Wednesday cloudy, and Thursday all out storm rain action. Friday low cloud at 7am but you knew damned well that you would be above it if you got high enough, but the forecast was for the cloud to build during the day, which it duly did. By the time I'd got back down to the valley at around 12.30, the valley was at least 70% covered in cloud. But the sun was still shinning, Hooorah........

 

So what's been done and where?

Midi Plan Traverse

Midi Plan Traverse 

Tuesday I went for a stroll up at the Midi. I walked about half way along the Midi Plan Traverse, conditions were great, these new snow falls we keep getting are really helping the snow pack and conditions in general. It's a bit exposed along the snow ridge, enough to focus your head, good track though, 5 teams in front of me, I didn't want a a stressy day so turned back at the Col du Plan, and walked over to Point Lachenal for a bit of a nose about lots of teams on it. Also teams on Left Edge, the Contamine/Mazeaud route and the Chere couloir on the Tacul, all of which looked in good conditions; had a bit of a mooch up the first  hundred metres or so of Left Edge , icy and a bit chopped up but in not back nick.

Tacul, Maudit and the Blanc

 Tacul, Maudit and the Blanc

I then continued round to the Col Du Midi, and got onto the rocky ridge that heads up to the Cozzy hut, some entertaining ground and a good place to practice moving together, with one short lower-off, or down climb in my case. It's only a short route, and drops you off at the viewing platform of the Cozzy hut, BUT do take you crampons off before you get onto the wooden section of the platform. I then headed back up to the Midi and back to the valley.

 

Friday 13th  Back up at the Midi again, cloudy start  at 7.30 am,  but myself and all the other people up there were subject to stunning weather: light breeze, quite cool, good snow conditions as long as you stayed to the tracks.

Mont Blanc du Tacul summit

Mont Blanc du Tacul summit 

Teams on the South Face rock routes of the Midi, the Cozzy Arete was heaving, like a big conga trail of people, 2 teams on Chere couloir, 1 team on Contamine/Mazeaud route, and a couple of teams on Left Edge, and lots of folks on Point Lachenal.

Ladder on the Tacul - getting exciting now

Ladder on Mont Blanc du Tacul 

I did Mont Blanc Du Tacul, the ladder is getting exciting and only just has contact at the bottom, there is a second crevasse just a little higher up, which has a snow bridge over it at the moment, I don't think it will be there for long though. Other than that the walk up was rather pleasant, good track, firm snow under foot and a good summit. There were teams heading onto Mont Maudit, teams also just finishing the Kuffner Arete,  and teams moving  beyond onto the Blanc, most of which would have been in the cloud by the time they got to the top.

Tacul summit track

 Tacul summit track

I shot back down taking pics of Chere couloir on way, and headed for the valley. It was in very good condition up there today, we are however about to have a bit more storm action later on this evening, Friday, with snow reported down to 2800, which means things will change again, so be aware. It is due to improve, I hope, but still stay cooler than average for this time of year.

Chere couloir

Chere Couloir 

Having had a look at the route book in the guides office, it looks like not a lot is getting done at the moment, but I think that's down to folks not reporting what they are doing, I do get the impression that folks are getting out there, but taking due caution given the weather and conditions we are experiencing at the moment. So as per usual folks do your research and home work., keep an eye on the weather and ENJOY.....

More stuff on my website www.alpinerob.com

 alpinerob.com Rob Wills - Mountain Guide

 

 

 

 

 

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