A few days ago Dave and my self went up to do some mix climbing action. We went to climb the superb Pinocchio which is tucked away on the side of the Mt Blanc du Tacul.
There are lots of great routes in this area but the trouble being that you have to walk to them right now rather than skiing to them in the winter. So this obviously means that it's going to take longer to get in and out from them.
As we knew that we wouldn't make it back for the last lift down to Chamonix so we took up a bag with sleeping bags, stove and food for a night up high.'s
The route was mostly mixed climbing of all sorts, face climbing, cracks and chimneys, but there's also a good amount of ice on the route. Which makes it quite easy in some places and more fun in others.
|Climbing out of a chimney, wearing the 'Alpine gloves'.|
It actually felt a bit like Scottish winter climbing, not that everything was wet or covered in turf but it I think it was because we were pitching it rather than climbing huge ice fields together, also we only took one bag and it felt really chilled out as we knew we were not in a rush for last bin.
|At the belay in my new downie.|
I tried out some new kit that Rab had supplied me with. The 'Neutrino Endurance jacket' is a big downie they gave and well what can I say, it's like getting a big warm hug at each belay station. It comes in this awesome bright orange which makes you look like a pumpkin! The new 'Alpine glove' is a great winter mixed climbing glove. All leather palm, neat fitting and is slightly warm. the new 'Boreas' top is a perfect mid layer top, as it fits under the helmet well really light and also neat fitted. Finally they also gave me a pair of the new 'VR guide pants', these are lined softshell pants. One thing I really like about these pants is how they allow access to your boot without too much hassle. The have a big zip to open them and a internal draw cord to keep it tight around the boot.
Conditions for other classic routes in the area are looking good as well such as the two classic ice routes, Modica-Noury & Gabarrou-Albinoni. Really looking forward to climb on this area a lot more through out the winter. Approaching on skis climbing then skiing out! Yee haa!
|Sunrise in the Massiff.|