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~ Friday 11th July 2014

There's been plenty of it! Last week was changeable and cold but there were a couple of good days. This week has seen the worst spell of summer weather I can remember. Sunday was OK for our approach to the Vignettes hut, but Monday dawned stormy and wet. We left the hut "for a look" and were rewarded with a few hours of clear skies, just enough to get up the Pigne and back - the first alpine summit for a keen group from Bloxham School.

Tuesday was really awful and a visit to the climbing wall was easy to justify.

Wednesday was a little better and gave us a great day of via ferrata action while it snowed in the mountains. A warm-up on the Nax route in the morning, then a strenuous afternoon on the excellent Via Farinetta at Saillon. This is one of the harder and more scenic routes around, with huge atmosphere in the narrow gorge behind Saillon.

Airy bridge at Nax

Very airy bridge at Saillon (Name the mountain guide?)

Low down on the Saillon route

Tunnel on a via ferrata?

Starting the steep final section

Back into the hills on Thursday with a wet and snowy approach to the Moiry hut. Our attempt on the Pointe de Mourti today found 40-50cm of fresh snow and very poor visibility. Not ideal! Finding the foot of the ridge was enough of a challenge, and with conditions looking poor even by Scottish winter standards we beat a hasty retreat.