Sunday, 7 August 2011

Something on the Tacul for my Birthday.

The Tacul

The other day, which happened to be my birthday, Greg and I got the Midi lift up and headed over to the Triangle du Tacul, to do ‘something on the Tacul’.  Sometimes when you ask friends of what they’re going to climb or go for, they’ll tell you, ‘just something on the Tacul’. I always thought this was quite a funny thing to say as when you go into the mountains your ‘supposed’ to know what you’re going to do, what to expect and how to get off. Basically it’s like treating the place like a wee crag. I love it!

Getting to use my new Boreal 'Arwa' boots.

Greg doing a direct start to the
first pitch.

So once we got the bin up and ran over to the bottom of the face we had a look to see what was what, and decided to do some sort of link up of different routes. Now I understand what they mean by, ‘Something on the Tacul’. You can go there and take bits and pieces of various climbs, interlink them in your own way, to make your own little route for yourself.

Starting up the Ice runnels.

Nearing the thinner ice.

There was a good amont of ice about the place due to the rain and snow over the past weeks, and the ice that was there was in great condition. The main route we decided to follow was ‘Le Temps est Assassin’ and at the top we traversed over to climb the last pitch of ‘Perroux Gully’. Greg led the first pitch and climbed a great direct variation into ‘Assassin’. Then we climbed some awesome ice runnels for a few pitches. Some of the ice was quite narrow in places so you had to be delicate not to hit your axe too hard into the ice in case you knock it off. All this ice & mixed climbing felt so good, and has got me really excited for the winter season here and in Scotland.

The weather was really good but quite chilly in the shade which gave it that slight winterish feel, until we abseiled back down ‘Chere gully’ and reached our gear in the baking sun.

Getting psyched for the winter.

A wee snack on route.
 These 'Peanut snaps' bars are great hill food

The route of the dropped camera!
Another thing I suppose I should mention is the fact that I dropped Greg’s camera from the first belay! The camera survived alright but the thing slid down the slope for miles and didn’t look like it was ever going to stop. I thought I was going to have to collect it from Montenvers lost and found box. But thankfully an Italian climber coming from Torino hut picked it up and brought it to the bottom of the slope to where I climbed down to greet him with a very, very big thank you. The climber actually had the great idea of taking a photo of Greg and Me climbing when he picked it up.

Traverse start to the last pitch.

So after we had finished our route and packed our gear away, we set off for the mother of all cruxes in the Mt Blanc massif. The Midi arĂȘte! This thing just doesn’t seem to get any easier, especially in the heat of the day.
Seen as it was my birthday Greg said he would treat me to a ‘Poco Loco’, one of Chamonix’s finest restaurants where they cook big ass burgers the size of a baby’s head! We had been looking forward to one of these legendary burgers for ages and thought we would save it until after we had done a big route together, but today seemed like a good time to have one.

Later on I spent the rest of my birthday with a big group of friends, who I’ve collected over the past year in Chamonix, and enjoyed a few drinks, load of pizza and some really bad chat!

Cheers Everyone.

A fine Birthday!

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