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~ Thursday 30th August 2012

The heatwave is over. Phew. Still, it was a surprise to find ourselves wearing everything on the way up Alphubel on Monday - it was cold!

We climbed the South Ridge finding icy conditions on the aptly named Eisnase. Great views and positions though, and an elegant way to the summit.

Signalkuppe, Nordend and Dufourspitze at dawn

The Eisnase

Summit cross

The summit cross has re-emerged. Compare this to July  

Yesterday on the Mont Blanc de Cheilon normal route was the same. Cold. Overnight clouds cleared to give good but windy weather. The route is dry, needing some careful cramponning on ice, and a huge hole has appeared on the slope below the summit ridge giving the worrying impression the the whole hanging glacier is accelerating downhill... We walked round it, a following team climbed into and through it. Worth remembering it's there - today's snow may well hide it! We descended via the glacier under Ruinette - still in great condition. 

The crevasse inspector checks out the new hole