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~ Saturday 2nd August 2014

It's been another challenging week in the Alps, with more weather to make the Brits feel at home. Still there's always something good to do, with great climbing on lower peaks below the unseasonal snowline. The Perrons above Emosson is home to lots of big rock climbs and a great ridge traverse. With hours of airy climbing on good rock, some exciting abseils and a tricky crux it's a proper Alpine route despite the lack of glacier. Sadly, it was in cloud all day which deprived us of the stunning views as well as making the climbing a bit slippery and adding excitement to the abseils, the rope ends disappearing into the misty void!

We spent the next couple of days dodging showers and searching for dry rock in the valley.

Exciting traversing on Tichodrome, Dorénaz

The tricky crux of Tichodrome

With a glimmer of hope in the forecast we drove south to Gran Paradiso. At first things looked doubtful with even the St Bernard ducks hiding from the wind...

But it dried up for the hut walk-in, and the next morning dawned clear and cold. The approach to the North West face of the Paradiso is cruelly foreshortened - it's a good 2.5 hours from the hut to the bergschrund - but it was worth it. Perfect conditions on the face and perfect weather made up for the waiting and frustration of the previous few days.

Pulling onto the top, with Mont Blanc behind