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~ Tuesday 30th September 2008

The South Ridge is a good choice in snowy conditions - it clears quickly, but parts of it are better with snow anyway. Walking up we met a couple who'd spent night at the hut - they said 5 Italians had set off that morning to climb, so we were sure to find a good track.

In the hut at 4.00pm, 5 sets of Italian kit, but no Italians. Finally at 10pm they returned, a bit tired! Apparently, battling deep snow and "winter" conditions had led to a 17 hour epic...

We left at 5.00am. The route starts right from the hut with good scrambling on dry rock,  a short glacier, then more scrambling leads to a fine snow ridge. This was very corniced, with an impressive Italian track very near the edge.

Above, the couloir was in good condition on firm snow, followed by excellent climbing on dry rock...another fantastic end of season day when we were - again - the only team on the mountain.Sunset behind the Tsa and Tsalion

Trabersing into the couloir below the Grand Gendarme

High on the ridge

Avoiding the Italian track