So after moaning about last weeks weather raining and melting away our precious ice, we actually got a day of really cold weather and rain/snow was down really low as well. This was much needed and helped conditions on the faces.
After seeing this low snow level and with temps being quite chilly in the mornings over the next few days, I decided to go for the 'Shroud' on the Jorasses.
This was my first time going for this route and my first time approaching the Jorasses from this direction, but...... this was actually Jon's forth attempt at the route due to not enough snow in the entry runnel and temperatures too high to go for it. It's not that he has some strange fixation on the route and likes to put him self through this very tiring ritual of walking in & out. He is really keen to get some shots of someone climbing on the Shroud which I know would be spectacular.
|Jon chilling at the Leschaux.|
|Approach to the Jorasses.|
We walked into the Leschaux hut, which must be the nicest hut in the Massif, and chilled in the sun with a beer gazing at the mighty Jorasses. Then a quick bite to eat and it was of to bed for a very early start at 1am!
|very thin start.|
We woke and headed in for the crevassed base of the Jorasses. The bergshrund that had to be crossed was massive, but then after this we had to do a massive traverse across black ice. When we got to the bottom of the runnel that takes you into the Shroud, we were greeted with a very stripped looking section that had some neve streaks on it to climb up, this was actually really nice mixed climbing but not what the Shroud should be like! So I headed up first, but as this was a lot harder and more awkward to protect we had to pitch these bits which obviously takes time. Jon took over and climbed the next pitch. Once I climbed up and reached him the sun was kissing the upper headwalls and releasing a load of ice and hoar frost on top us. This hurts a bit especially when it's falling from 600m above you! So Jon thought it would be best for us to get out of here and head back down. I didn't want to argue as he was well experienced in this department! (Oh!)
|John in mis-belief that he is|
abseiling of the Shroud again.
Once we got back to the bottom of the route we sat in the sun and made a few brews before our walk of shame back to Montenvers. 4-0 to the Shroud!
Jon's website- http://www.alpineexposures.com/