Alpine Climbing Conditions – 27/08/08

Chamonix is filling up with ultrarunners this evening – with the Mont Blanc Ultratrail starting on Friday.  I’m just doing the ‘short’ race this year from Courmayeur to Cham (ie working too hard this summer!) – but at 98km and 5500m of climb it’s still gonna be a pretty stiff day out..

On to mountain conditions – the serac/avalanche accident that occured on Mt Blanc du Tacul this Sunday morning has obviously been reported widely and yesterday the PGHM were still requesting people to stay off the voie normale amid fears about the stability of the slope – but about 50 people stomped up it regardless this morning… I wouldn’t advise doing the same.  We stayed well clear, abbing back down the Chere Couloir, which in excellent condition at the moment.  Other teams on the Tacul N Face were climbing Petit Frounet and the Voie Perroux, so conditions really are good here.

Owen climbed the Dent du Geant on Monday in wild weather and just topped out on the Matterhorn Hornli Ridge today too with Tim Coburn – so a great weeks climbing unfolding there too.  The intro alpine mountaineering course groups are up at the Trient and Albert Premier huts tonight, so a major assault on the Aiguille du Tour tommorrow!

It’s due to get very hot over the next few days (4500m freezing level) ie the hottest week of the summer – so although alpine  ice and mixed climbing conditions were perfect today, it may well be time to hit the rock and ridge lines again till things cool down a bit.

Good ice conditions in the Chere Couloir today.

One thought on “Alpine Climbing Conditions – 27/08/08

  1. Oh yeah, the Physics thing – the wife of one of the guys we were running alongside on the OMM last year writes that piece in each edition of Physics World – hence she’s always on the lookout for people who did a physics degree but now do something completely different!

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