Tuesday, 24 September 2019

les Piolets d'Or 2019

The purpose of the Piolets d'O awards is to raise awareness about the years greatest mountaineering ascents across the world. They are a celebration of a sense of partnership and solidarity, of shared experiences, and reward individual or collective achievement. the celebration was held  at the XXIV Festival Gorski, Ladek-Zdroj, Poland  Saturday 21 September 2019. Thanks to Maciek Solowski, Reneta Wcislo and Piotr Trybalski and team for a well organised and wonderful festival.

After the recognition ceremony, presenters and award winners 

One of the many after dinner parties. Tatjana Raich, Sandy Allan, ?,Christion Trommsdorf, VitusAUer, ?

Conrad Anker, David lamas parents and presenter Sandy Allan

The Auer family and  presenter Christain Trommsdorf

Krzysztof Wieliki with his PIolet d'Or Carrier 2019
Ales Sesen, Luka Strazar with presenter Andrez Stremfelj for their first ascent of a variation route on the north ridge of Latok 1. Tom Livingston the third member of their climbing team was absent as he is currently on another expedition in Pakistan. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Via Ferrata Curalla, Passy, Haute Savoie, France

Well it never rains but it pores as we say in the UK! I have not been on a via Ferrata all season then two come along one after the other. This time I was with Anne who actually lives in the same village as I do in Newtonmore, Scotland but also lives here in the village of Les Houches just down the road form Chamonix. We drove down the road and did this very fine Via Ferrata today.

Anne on a rather wobbly and very exposed wire bridge

Anne finding it easy enough

Photos have loaded back to front this one was taken  near the start of our via Ferrata..

Via Ferrata `tour d'Ai Leysin Switzerland

An ace time was had by all, I was lucky to guide a group from Indi Camper who were great fun and very sporty and keen to have a great day out. They had driven in Indi camper vans from Munich and were destined for Lyon, but found time to stop in Leysin and Chamonix for some fun along the way.
The first few meters of the Via Ferrata

Well along the via Ferrata now, Jeremy the  very cool and friendlyorganiser taking up the back position.

There are some steep sections which train up the arms.

 Leysin Guides have a message box near the top

And just to ensure it was quality day we did several rock climbs near Leysin to close off a wonderful day.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Transition between indoor climbing and out door rock climbing - and learning to lead

Over the past days I have been helping Dave and Cara to climb outdoors, they have been climbing at indoor climbing gyms for a little while now. We were climbing on bolted route in the Aosta valley and Chamonix;

Cara at the top.... no hard hats required a sit a well cleaned and very safe slab to climb on.

Multi pitch and stance organisation. 
So cool for me to have time with Cara.

Dave on second and cleaning the quickdraws.

Dave's first lead.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Beginners sport climbing in the Aosta Valley,

Here we go, another fun day, clipping bolts and teaching skill sin the sunshine!
Arriving at the crag

Dave belaying Cara

Cara getting into the moves

One cannot climb in Italy all day and not have a pizza!

My birthday weekend

Well its an annual event , sometimes I celebrate it sometimes I don't. This year my daughter joined me and we have had a blast!

H, me and C!

Perfect snow crystals on Cara's hair.

Dave, Cara and Hannah

Mer de Glace, H, C and Dave.

A perfect day for me!

Preparing for Mont Blanc - Grand Paridiso ascent

It's important to give some time for ones body to acclimatise to the higher altitude especially for those of us living at  or not very high above sea level. It usually takes around 4 to 6 days to feel comfortable above 3500metres depending on ones fitness level and body type.  It is also a good  idea to try another high mountain before attempting Mont Blanc. This time we climbed the Grand Paridiso.
Nick climbing the final little rock tower to the summit, thanks for the photo Owen!

Owen, Pauls and Nick on the summit.

Mont Blanc training days

Before climbing Mont Blanc many people come for  few days guided instruction where we cover a vast array of mountaineering skills such as;
How to use crampons and ice axes for ice climbing and general mountaineering, including rope work and how to tie on to the rope and how to take rope coils.

 Paula and Owen scrambling on rock ridges and safely moving together

Paula climbing

Pauls and Nick on the Aig D'Entreves

Glacier travel rope work.