Sunday, 29 August 2010

Les Aiguilles Rouges - rock climbing

Aig Verte et le Dru later this afternoon

Keiron having just climbed the 6a wall and moving up the last easier pitch on Robin Wood, 120 m 6a, which is on the La Grand Floria
First ascent was by Laurent Collignon and Michel Fontes in September 2000
Climbing on the Aig. de la Glier, Keiron with the silver helmet, Phil with the Orange helmet. This sector of the cliff has two good companion climbs, the Mani Pulti and Nez Rouge. This is the Nez Rouge, 150m, 5b. First ascent by Julien Cellier and Manu Meot in September 1998.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Technical climbing day

Technical slab climbing and belay stances, the general management of, was the main content of our day today...interesting!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Corma di Machaby setorre Casa Fara, Italy

Alex on the 5a pitch
Pouring rain in Chamonix today so we beat it through the Mont Blanc tunnel and once west of Aosta we found dry rock. A technical day coaching rock climbing and belaying skills. This climb is the 10 pitch 300m Lo Dzerby first ascent in 1992 by T. Sacchet and C. Prina
Alex leading one of the technical pitches

Alex on the 5c pitch
We enjoyed perfect weather on this multi pitched climb, then drove back and encountered a two hour tail back at the Mont Blanc tunnel and very wet weather in Courmayeur. I have just had news that they have had to stop the North Face ultra - around Mont Blanc race - due to a landslide!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

les trois Mont Blanc

Looking back up towards to Gouter mountain hut

The view back down towards the Col de la Brenva from the summit
7.40 am this morning, Alex on the summit of Mont Blanc

Aig d'Entreves traverse

Alex on the Aig d'Entreves yesterday

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Technical day

Got some climbing done with Alex between the showers and focusing on technical skills.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A quick climb before the storm

Alex on the Arete des Cosmiques, Mont Blanc behind obscured with cloud!
First thing this morning the weather was not so bad, but the forecast was right!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Rest days are for:

Servicing equipment and writing articles for club journals.. so I have been trying to get the adjustor's on my Grivel crampons to move and reflecting lots on our climb of the Diamir face of Nanga Parbat! These photos are of my good old pal Rick!

Crampon service and repair.....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Lots of snow in the mountains

Early this morning the sun tried to shine!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Grand Paradiso - contrasts

Gareth and Chris descending from the summit.
The summit marker, with a snowy Mont Blanc behind.

Gareth and Chris on one of the summits

A few days ago I guided the Grand Paradiso and we were concerned that it was so dry, with large crevasses and a shortage of snow. Over the past days there has been about 60 cm of fresh snow, its quite amazing and quite like winter again!

A technical skills day in Italy

Even the Ibex were low in the valley escaping the worst of the new snow.

Chris and Gareth using friction knots and other devices to ascend a suspended rope!
Bad weather all over the alps really, so we escaped Chamonix and drove around to Italy yesterday and went up to0 the Chabod Refuge where we covered lots of technical skills

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Skills day on Mer du Glace

Chris on the ladders
We are experiencing some bad weather in Chamonix, with about 20 cms plus of fresh snow in the hills.
Gareth ice climbing
Strolling along the glacier

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Arete des Cosmiques
Aig du Tour

Grand Paradiso
You can read all about these cool people on

Grand Paradiso!

Alison and Heidi in the early morning light part way up the Grand Paradiso

My friend Ewen with his rope of three summiteers

Heidi on the summit, having cycled 600 miles plus and spending a few days with us covering some basic mountaineering skills she pushed herself through several barriers. An outstanding achievement! The group of wonderful people she was with have their own blog and hopefully in day or so they will send me the link! To meet and guide folks like this, makes it ace and exceptionally rewarding to be a mountain guide.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Arete des Cosmiques

Check Spelling At the top... bad weather approaching from Mont Blanc

Allison - left- and Jess climbing.

Jess- on the left - and Allison ready for departure down the arete du midi

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Sandy's angels

Left to right, in the background is Laura, then Jess and Heidi on the ledge!
Woke up at the Trient hut this morning with bad weather but we gave it an hour or so and as we walked over the plateau the weather cleared enough to let us climb the Aig du Tour. It was ace fun and a bonus day as many other teams just headed over the col back to France.
Angels: Heidi, Jess and Laura on the summit

Checking out an interesting crevasse on the Trient Plateau!

Petit Fourche Summit

Working with my pal Ewen Todd this week in and around Chamonix, its all good fun!
Some of our group on the summit of the Petit Fourche yesterday!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Mont Blanc

Mountain Guides: left to right:Richard Mansfield , Phil Thomas and Sandy Allan

On the summit yesterday, the MacArthur family!
Mont Blanc at 4810m or 15873 ft has always drawn mountaineers from all over the world. The ascent is achievable by any person in good physical condition, however high altitude and unpredictable weather should be taken into consideration, as they induce a commitment factor! Good stamina, getting used to altitude and a basic knowledge of mountaineering skills, glacier travel and mountain safety are fundamental.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Rock Climbing in Val d'Aosta, Italy

Climbing another 5C at Settore Alpini near the town of Chetoz

Carolyn on a 5c at Ponte Romano near Sanit Vincent
It was a stormy night in Chamonix with strong winds and heavy rain. This morning it had not improved a lot so after texting and phone calls we decided it would be much better to drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy. One parking ticket later,!!! At least the sun shone and with only the occasional drop of rain, we climbed until about 5 pm ish.. so we had an ace days cragging on a couple of new crags.