Thursday, 9 September 2010

Summer photos - Rock

I have had a bit of a break from the blog this summer, as regular visitors will have noticed. Now we are into the autumn, I expect to be writing new posts more often again - I think winter and summer are the times to be doing things whilst spring and autumn (the 'Interseasons' in mountain resort terms) are the times to write about them.
This summer I stayed in Europe, working and playing in the French Alps around Chamonix. In this post I will give you the first selection of summer photos - Chamonix rock. These photos are taken in the Aguille Rouge region, opposite Mont Blanc. The Gneiss here is quite different from the granite of the bigger mountains on the other side of the valley.

The first photo here shows the approach to the Aguille de Perseverance. Unfortunately the cloud closed in and we climbed the route in the mist - so no photos of the apparently spectacular views from the NE ridge and the summit. The following three photographs show the Clocher and Clochetons (Belfry and Bell Towers) de Planpraz - the first route in Rebuffat's classic 100 Finest Routes and a very pleasant day out. The route consists of five separate pinacles with abseils (or a Tyrolean traverse) between them.

The abseil from the Petit Clocher

Setting up the Tyrolean traverse between the 2nd and 3rd Clochetons

Peter on the Tyrolean

Finally, here is a shot of the Cheserys slabs, where mountaineering meets cragging - airy routes of 4 - 6 pitches with great views across to the Aguille Vert and the Drus, but safe, bolted and less than an hour from the road.


These routes can be found in Michel Piola's guidebook to the Aguilles Rouges, available in English and French.