Saturday, 6 September 2008
Misty day on the Aiguilles
Here is Lisa on a wonderful climb. Normally we get fantastic views but on this occasion the clouds were down and the wind cold. The weather is changing, crevasses opening even wider and the snow melted back on the glaciers to reveal traces of old ski tracks from the previous season. The Alpine summer conditions are coming to a close.Most seasons we guide in the high mountains of the Alps until the middle to the end of September. But the smaller (less busy) cable car station close for maintenance and many of the mountain huts shutter their windows and lock their doors. All is not lost thought, the Alpine valley's hold fantstic rock climbing venues and then if the weather clears with azure blue skies you can bolt to the higher mountains . The late season brings fresh snow and the ice routes also begin to form. Routes such as the north faces and couloirs come back into condition. You can enjoy later starts and still enjoy the afternoon sun on the granite rock cimbs. It takes a while for the bregschrunds to fill in again after summers warming , so they remain a major hurdle at the foot of many of the climbs. It's also a lot more mellow. Guides, climbers and friends gather in the cafes and climb toghether again, old friends catching up after the busy summer season. The crowds thin out in the streets of Chamonix, the locals have time to chat! It's an ace time to be there and still there are lots of great days out to be had!