Crampons, crevasses and goats...

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Saturday 16th June 2012

Beware of the flowers cuz I’m sure they're gonna get you - but more likely to be goats.

 Goats on the path above Le Tour

So folks and funsters, funkster young and old, just spent the last couple of days with Mark and Jenna just brushing up on some skills, and refreshing the forgotten ones.

 Walk to Albert Prem Hut - Mont Blanc in background

 We had a stroll up to the Albert Prem hut from the valley, as the lift didn’t open until the 16th June. Hey, it’s really quite a pleasant walk to be honest, with great views down the valley. There is quite a bit of snow on the approach with a lot of evidence of some avalanche debris and some small rock slides on the long traverse out to the moraine ridge that leads up to the hut.

 Very snowy Aiguilles Rouges

There is soooooo much snow up there, if you go up to bivi in the bivi spots beyond the hut, take a rather large shovel. Obviously it’s going to change a bit over the next few days or so but, boy oh boy, its deep. I’m actually considering getting the skis out, YES SERIOUSLY, honest..

 Approach to Albert Premier Hut

 Anyroad, ramble ye not. We did an afternoon of crevasses rescue, where for once Mark’s prussics seem to work. Last year we were all convinced that his prussics were possessed…..think this year it was his gloves, damn those crazy glove demons, holy water was suggested, but ignored, wise.

The hut had about 50 people so felt quite civilised plus a few Brits bivvying up the way. We got up around 5.30am on Friday morning, breakfast, geared up and off we went into the wild blue yonder. There was a bit of a breeze to keep things on the cool side. The track was solid and great for crampons, but if as my great friend the Colonel said, you stepped off the boat, man, oh man you were in a world of pain, deep snow, very unpleasant, suffice to say we didn’t get off the boat !!!!

 Mark and Jenna on summit of Aiguille du Tour

I’d say most if not all the folks in the hut were heading for the Aiguille du Tour; there were a set of track heading off to the Tete Blanche and also two sets of track coming from the descent off the Chardonet. There was quite a bit of evidence of sluffing on the walk up to the Col Superior Du Tour. Just be aware - there is going to be some avo action with all this snow about.

Took a slightly more direct line to the summit of la Tour, the rocks are well covered, but this will change; did the route in good time, and had the summit to ourselves. We then descended what would be the normal way up, again well snow covered, but still a good few spikes sticking to wrap the rope around, Jenna lead the way.

 We then headed back down the Col Sup Tour to do some final crevasses rescue in the wind scoops at the bottom.

 I then left Mark and Jenna at the hut as they were going out alone the next day to do the Tete Blanche.

So the potential for some great mixed climbing etc is stunning once all this snow has settled down, not much in the way of info on what’s getting done at the moment, but will do a bit of digging and see if I can find out.

A very snowy Mont Buet

So I’m off to Montana to become a dental floss tycoon and sharpen my skis' edges and my zircon encrusted tweezers.

Take care out there.


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