Zermatt to Chamonix - chasing the weather window

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Saturday 9th July 2011
The Matterhorn at sunset from Theodule Hut 

 The Matterhorn at sunset from Theodule Hut

Well I stand up next to a mountain and chop it down with the edge of my hand, pick up all the pieces..........This week folks, felt just a bit like that. So what have we been up to?

Sunday morning we met the folks in sunny down town Zermatt, organised kit, weather forecast, hmm not so good, and then ourselves. Headed up to the Thoedule Hut, dodging the odd piste basher on the way. We got ourselves settled in, and then went down to the glacier for some crevasse rescue and rope work action.

Leaving Theodule Hut - the Matterhorn behind us

Leaving Theodule Hut - the Matterhorn behind us

Monday dawned, as it always does, unfortunately during the previous evening one of the team was very ill, giving much cause for concern, so he headed back to Klien Matterhorn with Smiler, whilst I did the Breithorn with Sue, Andy and Steve.

Breithorn Summit

 Breithorn Summit

Very busy, as you can imagine, and in very good condition and I have to say reports were that the rest of the chain, Caster, Pollux, etc all sounded in the same condition.

Castor, Pollux and Monte Rosa from Breithorn

 Castor, Pollux and Monte Rosa from Breithorn

Tuesday found us back in the valley, re-grouping and re-organising. With a crap forecast mid week, and the need to stay at lower elevations for a few days, we all decided to head to Cham, better forecast. We did the Via Corda Alpina in the afternoon with Sue and Jason.

Wednesday: a very busy Traverse of the Crochues, with a sprinkling of rain on the descent, just used an axe for the descent, the col up to the route is now clear of snow.

Thursday: Rock day, Servoz and the Gaillands.

Andy and Sue ready to face the Tacul - Col du Midi

 Andy and Sue ready to face the Tacul - Col du Midi

Friday we tried Mont Blanc du Tacul. Jason and Sue got to the top, one of only 2 teams to get up there, very windy, cold and some snow fall, the front team were breaking trail, good effort.

Mont Blanc du Tacul

 Mont Blanc du Tacul

Many teams on Point Lach, 2 teams on the Chere, the usual crowds on the Cozzy arête and a couple of teams on the South Face rock routes.

Triangle du Tacul - Chere Couloir 

Triangle du Tacul - Chere Couloir

Also done this last week, but bear in mind we have had snow and rain in past few days so things may have changed a bit:

2nd July:  Red Pillar Brouillard, in very good condition at the time.

3rd July:  Normal route on the Droites, both the ascent and descent in good condition at the time.

3rd July:  Traverse of Rochefort Arête integral, good track and good conditions, with the descent down the other side in good nick too, at the time.

4th July: American Direct on the Dru. Good condition, new bolts on the traverse if you go that way, and good abs off the South face.

I'm in Cham this week then back in Switzerland, Arolla the week after so check back for updates and info.

Take it easy out there

Rob Wills http://www.alpinerob.com/

 

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