Archive for July, 2010

Snowy on the Matterhorn

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Last night produced plenty of new snow on the high 4000m summits around Zermatt. Teams descending from the Breithorn at lunchtime talked of really cold conditions but not too much wind on top.

If you are looking for reasonable, clean accommodation in Zermtt, consider the Tannenhof Hotel Bags can be left whilst you are up on the mountains and it is very central and convenient for the railway station.

Check out the weather for the Alps

Italian High Level Route

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Just down from a successful Italian High Level Route via the Gandegg – Ayas – Sella – Gnifetti – Margherita Huts. We were fortunate to make headway in some unsettled and windy weather at times. It was however not bad enough to stop a number of parties. A cold northish wind accompanied us on most days and turned us back from Parrotspitze.

The base of the ascent route on Passo Naso is marked with red. Take the rocky rib above the red dot. In ascent it is certainly different from what I normally take and a helmet would be advised. In descent we took a rocky and loose option marked on the left, away from the normal steep and icy route which was causing folk some problems in descent.

Descending the Grenz Glacier was well trailed on the true right bank. The crevasses are opening and one local guide said …”The glacier is getting hungry”… The new Monte Rosa Hut is very different from the older version lower down. Whether you like it or not, there is no denying it makes the most of energy saving technology and materials and it is a touch higher up the mountain.

The approach from Gornograt is very serious once the dry glacier is gained and crampons are essential in parts. This glacier is suffering from a big retreat in recent years and creating problems in keeping it relatively safe for the large number of day trippers to the Monte Rosa Hut.

Today it has been raining heavily at times in Zermatt and the high rock routes such as the Matterhorn will be out of condition for a while unfortunately. Certainly the Guides bureau were not very optimistic,

Sunset from the Margherita Hut

Wrong weather forecast

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Aiguille Argentiere south flank

North Face of The Dru

Today the views from the Aiguille Petite Verte were very good. The forecast for storms in the afternoon did not really come to much though.

Dry on High in Chamonix

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Grande Jorasse

The high classic rock climbs look to be in good shape around Chamonix. This appears to be due to the recent very hot spell. Unfortunately this also means that routes which involve a lot of ice climbing are not too great. Today I saw a lot of rockfall coming off of the Dru north side. This is also connected with warm weather and melting of the ice which can cement the rock in place.

Looks like a weather front coming through later this week.

Hot in the Alps

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Good weather in Chamonix

Just arrived in Chamonix to be greeted by wall to wall sunshine. The weather has been very hot for a while by all accounts.

New Video

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Check out the Tower Ridge video for some inspiration for next winter

Marie Curie Mountain Challenge

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Yesterday on Skye was fortunately not very extreme weather. Today would have been rather worse. Marie Curie had a successful trek through Glen Sligachan from Kirkibost to finish with Soup Rolls and ‘possibly’ something a little stronger at the Sligachan Hotel. We experienced a mixture of sun, rain and windy weather and it was wet underfoot. Well done to Marie Curie and all of the participants who took part in this trek. Hopefully another similar Marie Curie challenge on Skye will take place next year.

The trek is not to demanding and travels between the majestic, towering pinnacles of the Red and Black Cuillin. Time taken to complete the walk varied between four and six hours. The path is good but can be very damp underfoot in anything other than warm dry spells of weather, so come prepared with good footwear and waterproofs!