Mixed Climbing – Rebuffat Terray V5 550 m Col des Pelerins

The Rebuffat Thierry route was first climbed in winter by Rab Carrington and Alan Rouse who followed a series of ice runnels that drooled down from the Col des Pelerins. Fpr some reason or another I had never got onto this route. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of spending a day climbing at Gogarth with living legend Rab Carrington and knew I had to amend this obvious omission to my Chamonix winter climbing resume. Aged 60 odd Rab is inspiring to watch on the rock, still climbing big E5s and 8a with impressive flexibility, a testimony to the benefits of a stretching regime. After a year off climbing myself with being busy skiing, this was going to be a challenge to my residual climbing fitness and break me back into shape. I headed up with Sandy Simpson who was keen for a mid length day route and is fit from time well spent dry tooling at the Zoo.

The route itself was in good to lean conditions with a couple of breaks in the ice at the steeper cruxy locations due to traffic. It was great fun being back Alpine climbing and moving quickly in the mountains and not spending much time searching for protection (unlike Scotalnd) – even if slowed slightly in freeride touring boots!

On the way down we descended Pre de Rocher which contained a mixture of awful crust, disgusting wind buff and treacherous frost coated boulder fields. Hopping from sugar coated boulder to boulder was the order of the day (or night by now) and after 600 m I gave in on the skiing and decided to walk. Rebuffat Terry

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Mer des Nuages

Dave, James and myself went up to Plan de l’Aiguille for an alpine route with a couple of objectives in mind. The drooling ice on Beyond Good and Evil had a strong draw so we went up for a look. The scorching evening sun kept temperatures high late on and a walk up to the base revealed lots of ice falling down. We decided to see what the temperature did overnight and found a huge flat boulder to get some kip in, but kinda resigned to go down in the morning. I dont think I’ve ever been so warm at a bivi and in the early hours we were treated to spectacular ‘Mer des Nuages’ illuminated by full moon, a good chance to take some photos. With no freeze, it was a pretty quick decision not to climb, and the first ascent of the year went to Perkins, Blakemore & Helliker team the following day. It looks really fun so get out and blast it while its there.