Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Weekend Alpinism

~ Tuesday 31st May 2011

 An excellent Chamonix based weekend - it's impressive what can be achieved in a 2 day trip to the Alps. We started off on Sunday using the Midi lift, which is quite pleasant in low season - no queue and only a dozen people on the lift.

Recent snow has settled fast and we found perfect conditions on the Pointe Lachenal traverse, plus blue skies and no wind, all very enjoyable.

Pointe Lachenal

With time and enthusiasm to spare we crossed over to the Col du Midi and climbed the arete up to the Cosmiques hut. In snowy conditions this is great fun, good mixed climbing with hot chocolate waiting at the top! As usual, the haul back to the lift station was longer and steeper and hotter than expected....

The Tacul normal route is looking unpleasant -  the hut guardian described it as "sporting". Look centre of picture where the track disappears for 300m into the crevasse/serac - the wall above is a good 40m high. 

For a change on Monday we drove over to Solalex in Switzerland and headed up to the Miroire d'Argentine. Usually still too snowy at this time of year, it's currently dry and snow-free. Planning to do the normal route we arrived just behind 4 teams so diverted up the excellent and sustained Direct route. 

 

15000 Bees!

~ Thursday 26th May 2011

...roughly. Anyway, yesterday they all decided to move into my chimney for the summer. We lit the fire and smoked out the house but the bees refused to leave. Mr Gaspoz the beekeeper turned up, climbed onto the roof and stuck his bare hand down the chimney...eventually today the bees moved out and headed for the campsite. Sorry if you were camping down there...

May Powder!

~ Tuesday 3rd May 2011

The unpronouncable Aouille Tseuque is a little peak above the Otemma glacier with a great ski face. After a long ski season this was a quick "holiday" trip with another British Guide, Tim Blakemore. We'd both seen the peak from the Vignettes earlier this year and planned to come back...

We spent a night in the excellent Singla bivvy worrying about the crusty snow, but in the morning we were surprised - and relieved - to find boot deep powder on the face. Phew. A very good ski descent and short plod back up the top of the Otemma saw us skiing good spring snow down the impressive Vuibé glacier before the inevitable walk-out down the moraine to Arolla. 

Aouille Tseuque from Vignettes

Heading up the Otemma glacier

 

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