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~ Saturday 14th September 2013

 Ah, la Dent Blanche, emblem of the Val d'Hérens and one of the best "normal" routes on any 4000m peak in the Alps. If the rumours are true it's mis-named after a mapdrawing error and should be called the Dent d'Hérens. After all, it's in the val d'Hérens, and isn't usually that white. This week however, the White Tooth seemed a pretty appropriate name...

With poor weather on Sunday we made along approach via Bertol, where we enjoyed an excellent night and a huge lasagne. The weather at 5am the following day was distinctly uninspiring so we went back to bed and started late for the Rossier hut. Luckily the clouds cleared and left us with a stunning trek in fresh snow over Tete (very) Blanche. 

Dent Rose

Dent Blanche

The next day saw just 4 of us set off for the Dent Blanche south ridge. It was cold and windy, and the other 2 soon turned back leaving us alone on the mountain. Climbing conditions were good, if a bit chilly...

 

Cold Couloir

Recent snow has left the couloir in good conditions, climbing on snow all the way. 

Not too cold on the sunny side. 

Very cold in the shade

This is near the end of the difficulties. Just a long pitch up a corner remains. It seems to me there's a new bolt belay and an new bolt above it in the final corner. Why? Why not just turn the whole thing into a clip-up? When will they fix a via ferrata cable the whole way? 

 

cold on top too. 

Still cold on the way down. 

The wide crack above the couloir. Still cold. 

La Dent Froide.