Friday, 1 May 2015

North Couloir Direct - Dru





It isn't often that you will descend a route before you ever climb up the thing. However when I climbed the Lesuer route on the Dru a few years back, the easiest and safest descent is rappelling the Dru Couloir Direct. It was dark and whilst hanging in the air, due to it's steepness of the route, only the beam of my head torch would light up small sections of the route. I couldn't imagine how big your forearms would have to be to climb something this wild. Turns out not not big at all, cause Calum and I climbed it the other day!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Ventriloquist - Coire an Lochain



A few days after climbing the Auricle with Mike & Ry, I traveled back up to the Gorms with Gav. We slept in the Cairngorm carpark in the back of his estate car, which was pretty comfortable. I manage to sweet talk him into doing Ventriloquist VII,7 with me. It was the original plan when I climbed with Mike & Ry on the Sunday, so it was still tickling away in my head. Also managing to get a good look at it from Auricle made me even more keen.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Auricle, Coire an Lochain (Cairngorms)



Frozen eye lashes, numb noses and frosty mono brows were the running theme of our days climbing in Lochain last week.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Return to the motherland


I try to find the clues of where to go. The vague footprints that someone before me had left is a good indicator. ''Are we almost there?'' I look up briefly to try find my bearings, but immediately interrupted by a piercing wind on my face that makes me shy away. One step in front of the other is all I could do. the cathedral'as the guard the corries entrance tower over me.....
 Wait a minute!! I can't write this flowery shite.... I'm back in Scotland! They'll beat me up for talking like this.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Desmaison-Gousseault




The North face of the Jorasses has many amazing routes that make their way up it's mass. One route that has been in my mind for the past few years is the Desmaison-Gousseault. It is situated on the left side of the Walker spur, and follows a series of ramps. The route has a variety of different climbing from chimney squeezes, open face ice climbing to steep rock climbing. I'm not going to go into all the history of this route on my blog, but as an outline;

 Rene Desmaison and Serge Gousseault attempted the line in 1971. Due to difficulties the outing became a two week nightmare. They managed to climb to within 80m from the summit, but Gousseault collapsed with exhaustion. Leaving them stranded on the head wall. For reason still unknown, the rescue team arrived late. Once they did arrive Gousseault had been dead for three days and Desmasion was only just clinging onto life.
 Desmasion returned in 1973 to finish the line with Giorgio Bertone & Michel Claret. Which I think says so much about Desmaison.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Bonatti-Vaucher


Autumn is probably my favorite season in the year. Especially in Chamonix, as you can go rock climbing at the crags for the whole day and not get cooked. Am Scottish, I can't handle the heat. However my main reason is that this is the time of year when things start to get really good for climbing on the big North faces. Like I said on my last post about the Sans Nom, the conditions on the faces were pretty good, so after climbing that I knew there was only one place to head to...

Friday, 5 September 2014

English route - Aiguille Sans Nom

Ben checking out the conditions on the face.
Many years ago... Christ that feels old speaking like that! Anyways, years ago when I first started doing some Alpine climbing. My first route was Petit Aiguille Verte, just next to the GM lift station. I remember whilst climbing on the upper part of the route, asking my Dad what that huge face was with all the snow and ice on it. He then informed me that it was the Sans Nom face on the Verte. Immediately I asked, 'Do people climb on that?'. I was shocked and confused to how you would go about climbing on that.... Now I know!