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Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Very Weismies...

~ Monday 27th June 2011

 Perfect conditions for the traverse of the Weismies today - it's hard to imagine better. We hit snow 20 minutes from the hut and made quick progess before taking off crampons for the excellent rocky climb to the summit ridge. The descent was on good snow all the way through some dramatic scenery - and of course like all good alpine routes there's a bar at the bottom!

Sunrise from the south ridge

Arolla Conditions

~ Saturday 25th June 2011

 Here are a few pictues from the last couple of days around Arolla - 2 nights at the Dix hut with ascents of the Cheilon normal route and a breezy traverse of the Pigne d'Arolla today. 

Excellent conditions on the Mont Blanc de Cheilon, although the summit ridge is still corniced and needs careful footwork. 

Going has been soft recently but a clear night and a good freeze sorted the snow out for the Pigne today - firm all the way. The Dix side looks well filled in but the snow cover is thin and some big holes are already appearing. 

Despite leaving under a clear sky with no wind, by the time we reached the Serpentine it was cloudy and blowing a gale - on top it was hard to stand up. Luckily we quickly dropped out of the cloud and snow stayed firmish for the descent. 

Arcteryx

~ Wednesday 22nd June 2011

 Arcteryx, the Canadian outdoor gear manufacturer, have just signed a new deal to become supporters of the BMG.  Arcteryx claim their "central purpose is to build the finest products possible" and they have a reputation for top quality equipment.

First impressions of their gear are very good. I've just received my first order, completed online with minimum fuss via the excellent website and delivered within 5 days. Great quality and feel, sizing seems consistent across the range, and with the next few days forecast for mixed weather the clothing will be getting a thorough test - more news soon!

Mont Blanc Success

~ Saturday 18th June 2011

 Good weather and good conditions on the Gouter route for our ascent on Thursday. This is a good time of year for Mont Blanc with plenty of snow and not many people - the Grand Couloir is full of snow and easy - and safe - to cross. We had the summit to ourselves and no trouble passing teams on the narrow part of the ridge.

I forgot the camera, so no pictures of the spectacular full moon which lit our ascent of the Gouter ridge...

 

 

Chamonix Weekend

~ Monday 13th June 2011

 The weekend started ominously with heavy overnight rain followed by low cloud and showers in the morning. Not ideal. Instead of going high and hoping for improving weather we stayed low, finding the excellent Via Corda in the woods behing Les Bois. Deserted, very scenic and good low level training for bigger routes - the line winds up for around 500m with scrambling, pitched climbing, bits of walking and the odd tricky slab, all quite challenging in the wet. 

Via Corda

Yesterday the weather was back to normal. The Midi lift did it's best to add excitement, breaking down for 20minutes when the cables on the lift before ours got twisted, then making an emergency stop just below the top. It was a relief to get out! We then climbed the Cosmiques Arete, which was busy but for once everyone was relaxed and friendly. 

Ski Season Highlights

~ Sunday 5th June 2011

 Here are a few pictures from the ski season. The winter started and finished with great snow - but it was a bit dry in the middle. Still, that meant some good stable snow for steeper skiing, and touring means you can always find good snow somewhere...Long after more popular areas like Chamonix and Verbier have turned in to epic bump runs there's often still great skiing to be found away from the lifts... 

Only 5 months to wait for next season...

 

 

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