Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Summer Tick List

~ Thursday 13th October 2011

 It's been a good summer despite the dry start and the unsettled spell in July. Here's a list of routes guided this summer:

- Cosmiques Arete

- Pointe Lachenal Traverse

- Mont Blanc up the Gouter route - great condition in early season

- 2x Miroir d'Argentine Direct Route 

- Mont Blanc de Cheilon Normal Route

- Mont Blanc de Cheilon Traverse 4(!) times. Once from Vignettes over the Pigne, once from Dix west-east, once from Dix west-east over the Pigne and on to the Vignettes, once from Dix east-west. Each time the traverse was deserted

- 2x Eveque Traverse, once from Bouquetins, once from Vignettes. Just us the first time, 1 other team the second. 

- Dent Blanche South Ridge

- Tete Blanche from Bertol to Dent Blanche hut

- 2x Bishorn normal route, once breaking trail all the way

- Pigne de la Lé, Pointes de Mourti, Dent de Rosse

- Grand Cornier South ridge from the bivvy hut

- 2x Nadelhorn normal route from Bordier with the Ulrichshorn, and once from Mischabel with just us on the mountain - in fact just 3 of us in the hut.. 

- 2x Zinal Rothorn North ridge, just us on the mountain second time. 

- 2x Matterhorn Hornli ridge

- Lagginhorn South ridge (just us)

- Weismies North Ridge - again, just us on the route. 

- 4x Couronne de Bréona traverse. Met another team once. 

- Lenzspitz-Nadelhorn via ENE ridge. Climbed with another pair in snowy conditions. 

- Gran Paradiso north face. Perfect condition, and deserted. 

- Rimpfischorn normal route from Tasch hutte

- Alphubel normal route from Tasch hut - just 2 of us on a cloudy day. 

- Alphubel Rotgrat



Zinal Rothorn

~ Saturday 1st October 2011

 The North ridge of the Zinal Rothorn is classic alpine ridge climbing - one of the best in the Alps. Luckily the Grand Mountet hut had stayed open longer than planned to host the Mountain Academy group, so we had a very comfortable night with one of the best views from any hut!

The North ridge has a long approach and a spectacular start up the Arete du Blanc. This can be easy in good conditions but it's definitely not at the track and hard snow on the north side with steep sun-rotted snow on the south made it quite nerve-wracking. We avoided the lower bit by climbing the rocks below the ridge on the south side, bit still had to teeter up the narrow crest for the upper section.

The rest of the route was in good condition - crampons off - and the climbing is brilliant, both exposed and sustained. As usual in late September there was no-one else on the route, although we did see one other team in the distance on the normal route...

Dawn on the glacier

Riding the "Bourrique"

 On Friday we had a lazy 7 o'clock breakfast before making the arduous 15 minute (!) approach to the Mammouth...soon we were climbing perfect rock in warm sun, a very pleasant end to a great week. We started up "Génepi" then continued along the whole ridge, which is brilliant exposed climbing on perfect rock. 

"threading the needle"


Couronne de Bréona

~ Saturday 1st October 2011

 After a tiring day on the Cheilon traverse we drove up the track to the Couronne de Bréona on Tuesday. The traverse packs in a lot of climbing without too much walking - especially if you continue over the Clocher! (The track from the Evolene side is quite eroded now and only really passable with a 4x4. If you drive up there make sure you park carefully and check with the farmer first)

Descending from the Clocher


Mont Blanc de Cheilon Traverse

~ Saturday 1st October 2011

The Dix hut is now closed for the season so we used the winter room - which was quite cosy with 9 people!  The long climb up to the Col de la Serpentine is fairly crevassed and complex, and the slope up from the col is dry scree for 100m now, but the rest of the traverse was in good condition. We downclimbed the normal route from the top before heading over the winter summit and making a quick descent of the glacier below the Ruinette, which passes through some spectacular scenery. As usual at this time of year the mountain was all but deserted - we saw no-one on the route until meeting 2 Dutch guys coming up to the winter top. 



~ Saturday 1st October 2011

The end of the summer season is often a great time to climb in the Alps with quiet hills and stable weather, but it was still a surprise to be the only people in the Mischabel hut! Weather was perfect, and the wind the day before had blown away the fresh snow and left ideal conditions on the Nadelhorn normal route. 

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