29th June 2018, Pigne d’Arolla – Chamonix Rock Climbing – Mont Blanc – Monte Rosa

Swiss Alpine Mountaineering Guide
Our Chamonix Alpine Intro team have also had an action packed week with mountaineering training on the Mer de Glace; a glacier trek and scrambly ridge on Aiguilles d’Entreves on the French / Italian border, accessed from the Skyway Monte Bianco; Chamonix valley rock climbing, rope work training & hut trip planning day and finally a 2 day expedition via the Dix Hut culminating in an ascent of the Pigne d’Arolla on the summit at 0800 this morning.
Conditions are good – impressively snowy!  Teams also doing the Voie Normale on the Mont Blanc de Chielion and the traverse of that as a loop from Dix Hut, or even via the Pigne from the Vignettes Hut.
Alpine Mountaineering Intro Course
Our Chamonix Alpine Intro Mountaineering Course On The Summit Of The Pigne d’Arolla at 0800 this morning in great conditions
The weather continues to be warm and sunny in the Mont Blanc Massif with some great conditions for everything from high altitude snow couloirs to valley rock climbing!  We have been doing plenty of both with lots of teams seeking a break from the high altitude snowy glaciers to enjoy some cruising on sunny warm valley rock!  We have had intro, intermediate and learn to lead courses running in Chamonix and Les Contamines with action packed rock days on the valley crags of Les Gaillands, Servoz and Duchere in Les Contamines.  With the Plan Praz and Flegere lifts now open there is good access to the middle mountain rock in the Aiguilles Rouges also albeit with still plenty of snow lying around on some approach slopes / couloirs.
Les Contamines Rock Climbing
Lead climbing coaching in Les Contamines with Trad Legend Twid Turner.
Whilst the Midi and even Plan de l’Aiguille lift remain shut, the latter is going to open this weekend and the former a week afterwards, at least that’s the plan anyway.  More details here:
Our last Mont Blanc course before the mid summer pause got all team members to the summit and they enjoyed great snow conditions before stopping at the Gouter Hut on the way down.   This was appreciated by the team both for reasons of tired legs and some afternoon stone fall in the couloir.  La Chamoniarde (office de haute Montagne in Chamonix) are now recommending crossing the couloir before midday:
– Grand Couloir et accès au Nid d’Aigle : la traversée du couloir est encore en neige/glace, le câble est en place. Respecter les horaires et ne pas s’y engager après 12h.
– Dôme du Goûter et arête des Bosses en bonnes conditions.
We still have a couple of places left for an ascent in September either via a warm up on the Gran Paradiso or Weissmies.
Stop Press – Due to cancellation we also have 1 space available on a 3 day Climb The Weissmeis Course starting in Chamonix on Monday 2nd July.
Mont Blanc Summit Guide
Team Shrewsbury Pompiers On The Summit Of Mont Blanc. Good conditions in late June 2018
Likewise we have a place left on a Monte Rosa Mountaineer course in late August and there has been plenty of activity in that Massif also, again with excellent snowy early season conditions as these photos from Stefano show.   Good for most of it apart from the impressive rocky ‘Cresta Rey’ on the South Face of the Durourspitze which we are hoping to climb later in the summer season.  See photo below.
Crest Rey Climb Dufourspitze
The magnificent Cresta Rey – the lovely slender rocky pillar – on the South Face of the mighty Dufourspitze, Monte Rosa Massif. Note the snowy early season conditions!
The remarkably high altitude (>4500m) Margherita Hut high on the Italian – Swiss border in the Monte Rosa Massif
Sunset at the Gnifetti Hut on the Italian side of the Monte Rosa
The enormous NE face of Liskamm (4527m) from the Monte Rosa. The traverse of this snow ridge is one of the classic high alpine snow routes of the Alps