Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Kufner Route

~ Friday 22nd August 2008

a great day yesterday on the Kufner Route (Frontier Ridge) on Mont Maudit. We left the Torino hut at 2.30am and were first on the route in bright moonlight - no torch needed! The route is in very good condition with firm snow allowing fast progress. One of the best ridges in the Alps! More photos on aspirant guide Rob Jarvis' excellent blog

Sunrise behind the Grand Combin

Precarious corniced ridge climbing!

At 4300m with the whole route visible below

North Faces

~ Tuesday 19th August 2008

The weather has been a bit unsettled, cold with some more snow. A strange August, but it has created some great conditions on icy faces. In Arolla the North Face of Point Marcel Kurz on Mont Brulé is in good condition, a great short ice route at low altitude.

Next, we did the Left Edge route on the Tacul Triangle in perfect nevé.

Perfect nevé at dawn

Looking down the first snow slope


After a rest, we headed off to the Gran Paradiso. Good conditions again on the north face, and we were the only team on the route. The face is mostly ice so hard on the calves!Half way up!

In the sun at last, the final few feet of the face.

"Odd one out" competition on the summit ridge


Cold Mountains and warm rock

~ Wednesday 6th August 2008

2 contrasting days, starting with the SE flank route on the Grandes Jorasses. This is the normal route, but is a long complex AD climb. We had windy, cold cloudy conditions so no view but at least the snow stayed good for the descent. Climbing the Rochers Whymper

Descending the summit ridge in the cloud


Today, total contrast climbing Au Bord Du Vide at Sanetsch. Perfect rock, 6 pitches in a great setting.

Pitch 4, 5c

Looking down pitch 4

Weather frustration!

~ Sunday 3rd August 2008

Thursday's attempt on the Zinal Rothorn "Rotgrat" failed in bad weather - snow and ominous clouds, and very warm on the glacier approach.the path to the Mountet hut 


On Friday, with bad weather forecast for the afternoon, we drove up the track to Bréona and climbed the Couronne de Bréona. This would be a 3 1/2 hour walk-in from La Forclaz, but the track is driveable - just! - to within an hour of the route. Park carefully and ask the farmer. You could also approach from Moiry dam. The ridge is loose to start, but soon becomes solid, with great knife-edge ridge scrambling and fantastic views. 

On the Couronne de Bréona ridge 

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