Mixed Climbing on Mont Blanc du Tacul – Pinnochio

Yesterday I had the pleasure of climbing with my good friend Andy Houseman on Pinnochio which lies on the East Face on Mont Blanc du Tacul. For some reason we haven’t climbed together for 4 years, I guess I’ve been concentrating on skiing while Andy has been doing expeditions. We had both climbed Pinnochio before in 2007 and this time round in was a lot thinner and more sporting but still amazing climbing, some of the best day hit modern mixed climbing I’ve done in Chamonix. It was a mild, windless day, absolutely perfect alpine conditions.  After we decided to ski down through the valley blanche for the first time this year which was sporting but ok.  Pinnochio-1 Pinnochio-3
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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.