Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

31st Jan - winter is back!

~ Thursday 31st January 2008

At last, cold and a little fresh snow. With more forecast for the next few days, maybe it's the end of the amazingly warm weather. Hopefully the warm spell actually did some good, settling the unstable windblown snowpack from the early winter.

Great tracks appearing all over the place today at Arolla. Here's Janine's "first powder turns" smile

25th Jan - blue sky ice climbing

~ Friday 25th January 2008

Well, the Giette pillar collapsed today. Sorry, no "action" shots!

Great conditions yesterday on the Cascade de Veisivi - This gets no sun at all, and is getting fatter by the day. Scottish ex-pat Graeme Ettle here on pitch 2














In Kandersteg today there was good, wet ice with teams on several classic routes. It's warm though - Holes are appearing, and colder weather would be nice! 

22nd jan - icicle cracks!

~ Tuesday 22nd January 2008

Warm weather and lots of snow melt have had a dramatic effect on the Giette freestanding pitch!

Compare this to this, only a week ago.

Still, ice is still good higher in the valley and lots of new snow high up is great news for the ski season. Conditions have been good the last few days at Arolla, Evolene, Thyons and Super St Bernard.

17th jan - Zinal ice

~ Friday 18th January 2008

A trip round to Zinal today. Loads of snow there too,so skis or snowshoes are useful. Good ice on le Livre, 3/4,  Pistes de Fond area.  2 pitches to a bolt belay below the final short pitch. This is steep and harder than the rest of the route, so maybe best to abseil from the belay (There is a tree up  and left of the finish if you do this last pitch)

15th Jan - cold and snowy

~ Wednesday 16th January 2008

Great piste snow at Evolene yesterday, but strong winds overnight moved loads of snow - drifting over the road to Arolla. Lots of new windslab, so pick routes carefully!

Still, good ice again today at the Cascade de l'Usine Électrique, Arolla. The first pitch is getting shorter each time as more snow drifts in!


14th Jan- Back on ice

~ Monday 14th January 2008

Cascade des Glacons de la Giette was hard work today with a covering of fresh snow. Still good ice though, and only a short walk from the road - you can see it when driving past la Tour to les Hauderes. 2 pitches, WI4 then 5. 50m ropes reach the ground in 1 abseil from the trees.

Top of pitch 1, screw belay

13th Jan - Powder!

~ Sunday 13th January 2008

Blue skies and 50-60cm of fresh snow today at Arolla - great skiing! Better still, skiing at Arolla is half price till the end of Jan, a bargain at 16.50CHF per day.

fresh tracks at Arolla

11th January - Steep ice!

~ Friday 11th January 2008

Great ice conditions today on the Cascade de Veisivi, les Hauderes. Fantasic steep climbing in a great situation. Three   long pitches, WI 3, 5+, 5. The approach from les Hauderes is easy at the moment with quite hard snow, but the climb funnels huge avalanches from the Dents de Veisivi, so not a place to be after a big snowfall!pitch, 5+, Cascade de VeisiviPitch 3, WI5


8th jan - Good ice at Arolla

~ Tuesday 8th January 2008

cold, sunny day. The ice has survived the last 2 days of warm weather. Good climbing on a quick visit to La Gouille.Andy at la Gouille

7th jan - warm, but ice still good

~ Monday 7th January 2008

woken this morning by the sound of rain on the roof...

Still plenty of ice around at the moment. The Evolene "Coop" icefall was good yesterday, but the forecast is warm wet and windy all week, oh dear.

Coop icefall above Evolene

A lot of areas have been a bit too dry for ice formation, so hopefully a wet week followed by a freeze will sort things out

4th January

~ Saturday 5th January 2008


Good conditions on la cascade des glacons de la Giette. This is visible from the road, opposite la Tour. Walk from here or from les Hauderes. 2 pitches, first a "cauliflower" grade 4, then a steep free standing 5. Walk left then abseil from a tree.Cascade des Glacons de la Giette


3rd January

~ Saturday 5th January 2008

Great ice this morning on the Cascade d'Evolene. This is the icefall you can see from the road, directly above the Coop!

2 pitches of WI4, with a short free standing pillar on pitch 1. You can avoid this by going left, which makes the route a bit easier. Abseil off from old bolts(!) or trees, or walk but this is much longer.

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