we woke up in damp tents which felt very far away from 35°C the day before. the clouds had pulled in overnight but we headed up aiguille du midi, keen to get some time in on higher altitude – so some of us went for the petit charmoz traverse, which was originally climbed back in 1898! since the weather forecast was vague we decided to go for a short run close to the cable car station. although climbing was fairly easy and route finding seemed quite obvious we found some really tricky parts. you know how it is: with wet rock and mist all around even easy bits can get difficult! fortunately our tip-top guide seb taught us a very valuable lesson of ‘knee climbing’ and body jamming:) having learned these techniques we spent the rest of the climb on mastering our new skills.
the other two groups went up on the classic cosmique arête and cosmique spur. “i’ve always been told that the cosmique is very, very nice – now that I have climbed it all i can say is i ‘guess’ it’s very nice as we couldn’t see anything. it was a fight against rock climbing in these conditions” aude says. “we were hardly able to see our friends on the routes close to us so the experience was really interesting.”
aude’s buddy for the day, sang, continues by talking about his view from eperon des cosmiques (south face of the aiguille du midi). “although thick and very wet clouds shrouded the mountain all day, still the climbing on perfect granite was a lot of fun. Impressive to see how all the guides cruised up in their big mountain boots, while we happily changed to rock shoes. the guides also gave us some technical advice on glacier crossings, belay stations and efficient progress along a ridge of rock and snow.”
all in all, not bad for a rainy day really.
tomorrow looks like a clear day for once, the kind of days we’ve all been waiting for – let the adventures continue!