Mittwoch, 30. Juli 2014

Valle dell'Orco, Cormayeur, Chamonix, Ceüse

What should you do if you have 3 weeks of time, a car and a lot of motivaton to climb and the weather isn't exactly as you wished it:  pack your stuff, start an be flexible! More or less that's what Thomas and I did on this Climbing trip. Our main goal was to climb some long routes in  the Mont Blanc massif, but the forecast for Chamonix wasn't that good...1.5 m of fresh snow on the Goûter and that meant that we would probably have to wait quite a while to get good conditions for the things we planned. So we quickly decided to do a first stop in Valle dell'Orco. Finally we stayed and climbed there for four days. on the first day we did a combination of three routes on the Caporal: "Orecchio del Pachiderma",  "Itaca del Sole" and "Rattle Snake" (200m, 6 Pitches, 6c(?) ). A local mountain guide recommended us a climb for the next day and so in the evening we did the approach to the Noaschetta, starting point for our second route: "Amitrax" (450m, 7b 9-10 long pitches; FA: Adriano Trombetta) on the Monte Castello. The approach was really long, approximately 2 hours from the hut, but in return we had a great climbing day on a very nice and remote face.
On the third day after a rainy morning we did a shorter classic climb "La casa degli specchi" (200m, 6b+, 6 pitches) on the Torre di Aimonin above Noasca.
On the fourth day we went to the Sergent wall where we first climbed "Cannabis" (120m, 7b (or aid climbig ;-), 4 pitches; FA: G.C. Grassi, D. Galante) and then we climbed the superclassic "Fessura della Disperazione" (150m, 6a+ obligatory..!, 4 pitches; FA: Roberto Bonelli, Danilo Galante, Piero Lenzi)  and toped out on another route. 

After these four days we felt a bit tired of climbing short routes in valle dell'Orco but the weather was improving so we took the chance and drove towards Courmayeur. It was still quite cold and there was still a lot of snow high up so we decided to go to the Rifugio Dalmazzi and climb some routes there. So basically our rest day consisted of driving to Courmayeur (obviousely avoiding toll roads) and walking up to the Rifugio Dalmazzi. the next day we climbed "Tout Fou" (250m, 6c+, 6 pitches; FA: G.Long,M.Motto,R.Vogler) on the Monts Rouges de Triolet. Rapelling down we also did a very nice 7a+ pitch of the direct variant "Delicatessen". 
On the next day we walked a bit further to the Torre Rossa de l'Aiguille de Savoie and climbed the route "Abitare il tempo" (300m, 7a, 8 pitches, FA: M.Motto, M.Piolà). 
If the approach to the hut and to the routes wasn't that long I think that there would be more people climbing there. The rock and the climbing was great but probably not everyone likes to hike for two hours before starting to climb. Thats the reason why some good routes like "Abitare il tempo" have been rarely repeated...
Hoping for some good and stable weather the next day we drove to Chamonix and took the cablecar to Plan de l'Aiguille. Our plan was to climb some routes on the Aiguilles de Chamonix and then go for some longer and higher stuff ...
So on our seventh climbing day (out of 9) we climbed the Aiguille du Peigne via "Postscriptome" (400m, 7a, 12 pitches; FA: Amstutz, Volger). If someone wants to climb the Aiguille du Peigne I definetly can't recomment this climb since it isn't neither very logical nor easy to find if you don't have a really accurate description. 
The weatherforecast for the next day wasn't perfect so we decided to climb a bit shorter route and so we went to climb "l'Eau rance d'Arabie" (250m, 6b/c, 7 pitches; FA: M. Piola et P. Steiner)  on the Pilier Rouge de l'Aiguille du Blaitiere. It was supposed to be a rather easy climb but to me it seemed quite hard especially the slabby pitches (given 6b...I have seen easier 7a's...). Anyway it was a very nice route and perfect for that day! 
Afterwards we descended to Chamonix by cablecar and went to the campsite where we stayed for just one night before the rain and the weatherforecast made us definitely change our plans....we both never climbed in Ceüse, so we decided to have a look! Now I can say thet it was the best decision not only because of the beauty of that place but primarily because the weather in Chamonix wouldn't have been good enough to climb the kind of stuff we wanted to do. 
Anyway, it was a really good trip and we had a lot of fun, met new people, seen new places and we managed to stay low-budget spending only 350€ for 19 days :-)


Dienstag, 8. Juli 2014

Tofana - Da pazzo vecchio pazzo - 7c


This year our (Thomas and mine)  alpine climbing season started rather late probably because of the long lasting ice season and due to the fact that there is still quite a lot of snow in the Dolomites. Finally this weekend we headed to the Tofana where we already did different hard climbs during the last two years. Da pazzo vecchio pazzo is a 10 piches alpine sportclimbing route bolted by Massimo da Pozzo in 1999. The two 7a pitches, the 7c and the 7b+ are quite well bolted. The 7c pitch (1.pitch) has a quite hard boulder sequence and can be climbed artificially (so did we...). The easier pitches are not so well protected and have long runouts so it is necessary to bring a set of cams for additional protection. The rock is good except for the last three pitches.
We started quite late at about 13.30 and toped aut about 5 1/2 hours later. The conditions were good, the temperature was fine, just a pitty that we didn't onsight/redpoint the two hard pitches...perhaps next time :-)
Let's see what's next!
Thanks to Massimo Da Pozzo for the line :-)