Sunday, August 02, 2009
Envers des Aiguilles, 2nd take
After visiting one mountain chain in Italy, I am back to another old infatuation, the incontournable French Chamonix. Although people say it is crowded, touristy, not original enough etc. i still find it attractive and full of worthy objectives, similar to Venice in the world of art and tourism - although it does stink it remains attractive enough to the pure of the heart.
Envers des Aiguilles is one of those worthy places - the other side of the Aiguilles, the North faces of which are seen from Cham, and the South faces of which we decided to explore a little bit further. There is a refuge there (Envers des Aiguilles), but for really worthy climbers nothing like hiking up with a tent, stove, and loads of food to the base of Grepon (which finally i refused to climb to Ren's disappointment). The refuge is below, picture with a view...:
Yes, the view is good, and the approach to the climbs limited to 10 minutes! View from the tent:
3 days, 3 routes (Pedro Polar, Dracula/Marchand de Sable/Homme du Rio Grande), over 1000 meters of vertical granite. Beauty of a weather, rock up, rock down, rappel, tent, sleep, and go out again. Up the glacier, negotiate the rimaye, and go up. And the cycle goes around again. Granite is the king of rock, presenting infinite cracks to protect, or if not slab moves where Mr. Piola has generously left a couple of healthy shiny bolts.
A couple of good pictures from Dracula/Marchand de Sable mix on the 2nd day:
Julia, the layback queen in black:
The serious action took place on Homme de Rio Grande, our best achievement during these 3 days. Below is Renadu following the 2nd pitch, 6a+ traverse (very good pitch!):
And again, Renaud following one of the last pitches, a 6b+ crack on red granite:
And myself on the pen-ultimate pitch:
Another objective - Dent du Geant pointing into the skies in the distance: