Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Copacabana…

Arriving in Geneva again to poor weather and then to Chaminox to the Midi lift closed due to high winds, Craig and Mark knew they were already onto plan E.

Next day, the CLAG filled the valley and the rock was wet so we headed up into the mist to find the Cosmique Arete. This was a good idea and we found conditions good on route with the odd sunny spell between the clap of thunder and the sound of avalanches happening in the distance.

Next day with an AM weather window we headed to the Petit Vert to climb the North Face variation. It was like a cats cradle on the summit with at least 30 ropes. Abseiling down the route of ascent worked best for us on the day with café Americano at the cable way café and some demons exercised.

Next up, the Cosmique Arete again this time in super Scottish conditions. We moved fast overtaking all guided and non guided parties on route to finish in super fast time on the platform.

The weather over the next couple of days looked poor for all of the alpine regions so we headed out of the valley to Sass Grund to check it was still there. It was and so was Golda and the warm and relaxed Heino hotel. We headed up on the hill the next day for the Alallinhorn by the normal route but with 600mm of new unstable snow/graupel it was never going to happen. We dug some pits and decided to return to Feltskin and walk to the Brittiania Hut for Coffeesnapps. In the afternoon we headed up to Hohsass to look at the Weismiss, which was hidden mostly in cloud.

We headed back to Cham in the rain taking in Zermatt for coffee and a look for a new bazzy (baseball cap) for Craig - no joy there or any other gear shop in the alps.

It had rained non stop in the valley while we were in Switzerland so the only safe option was, yes the Cosmique Arete again, this had totally changed in character with most of the route buried; indeed the crux crack was a good metre shorter than the previous journeys. The route was busy with mostly guided parties (French Itallian and German) so at the usual bottle necks we tried our best bumming food, starting a snowball fight and trying to get an international choir going…

Feeling acclimatised and seeing a weather window for our last full day, up again we went with 3 routes in mind. We burst through the cloud and had decent vis on the Valley Blanc so plan A it had to be and off we plodded in direction of the Triangle du Tacul and the Chere Couloir.

This gives good climbing on 60-80º ice and feels very Scottish in character (especially when it started snowing) and is quite reminiscent (to us anyway) of Point 5 and Green Gully on the Ben. Some super slick abseiling had us back on the VB, packed and heading for the slog up the 'walk of death' before we descended into the mist and rain of the valley.

All in a great trip making the best of the conditions, the Pizza at Casa Valerie and the beer at Monkey.

Testing some new kit, the Bergelmit Jackets and Vanir Salopettes performed very well with the mixed conditions and getting the "eye" on route and in town, thanks Tommy.


Some pics from the trip...






 










 
































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