Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Ice Climbing!

~ Monday 28th November 2011

 First day ice climbing today. The weather has been settled and dry for so long now the hills are very dry and there's no snow, but high, shady crags have plenty of ice now. A not too cold autumn is quite good for ice, keeping water moving longer rather than freezing everything solid in the ground. 

Today at the Cascade des Ignes the walk-in was dry - in fact easy in trainers! - when often snowshoes or skis are needed. There's loads of ice and it's not too cold so it's great to climb. By midday a few stones were falling, so we continued to the top instead of abseiling and then walked round. 

Patrouille des Glaciers

~ Friday 25th November 2011

 

Badge PdGThe Patrouille des Glaciers ski-touring race runs every 2 years, with teams of 3 competing on a course between Zermatt and Verbier - basically following the classic Haute Route in reverse. The draw for places in the 2012 event was last week - the race is so over-subscribed that places are allocated by lottery - and team "les Hauderes" has a place...my team-mates have both taken part before but it will be my first go - so I'll be out skinning more than usual this winter in preparation.

As well as training for the race myself I'll be arranging some training/preparation/course reconnaisance dates for other teams - dates coming soon. 

 

Pigne d'Arolla Traverse

~ Thursday 17th November 2011

November has been cold and dry this year - not ideal for the imminent ski season but it does mean there are some great conditions in the mountains. In peak season the classic Vignettes- Pigne d'Arolla - Dix traverse is very busy, but over the last 3 days we saw...no-one!

It was cold and hard going in deep snow up the glacier de Pieces to the Vignettes but the new winter room is excellent and very confortable. We were gambling on finding better conditions on the "sunny" side - and it was a relief to find them - firm snow and well bridged crevasses. Luckily the firm snow lasted most of the way to the Dix hut. This side is much more open, but still manageable. 

 

November in the Alps

~ Monday 14th November 2011

 An excellent day today on the Couronne de Bréona. The track up from Forclaz is still driveable - with a few exciting ice patches! - and there's no snow up to the col. Above there it's a different story...the sunny side is dry but in the shade the rock is very snowy, giving some challenging climbing!

 

 

 

 

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