Chamonix – back for more

One week in Cham per year is definitely not enough. Climbing potential of this place is so huge that you could probably spend your whole life there and you wouldn’t be able to climb all the routes. So when leaving the town in the beginning of July, after 4th stage of The Mountain Academy, I knew I would come back. I just needed to wait for the right moment 🙂 And the right moment came in August. Together with my friend Tomek we came for 10 days with our heads full of dreams and names of big routes. Although weather was marvellous in previous weeks it deteriorated soon after we arrived. We got drenched to the bone already on the approach to Envers des Aguilles. Another storm hit during our warm-up route on Tour Verte. Then there was another one accompanied by some minor showers… Luckily a weather window appeared exactly when needed so we could send our main goal for the week – Republique Bananiere on Aguille de la Republique. The route is magnificent and a real must – 700 metres of climbing (25 pitches) on perfect granite, taking mostly impressive corners, cracks and some technical slabs! Cold bivy on the rocky ledge, starry sky above our heads and amazing sunrise over the Drus and Aguille Verte also made it unforgettable experience…

Beautiful sunrise over Grandes Jorasses

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chamonix in b&w

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ they say. Well, here’s a small sample of my favourite black and white photos from last stage of Mountain Academy. Enjoy!

Approaching Petit Charmoz. Surrounded by mysterious and scary peaks

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little yosemite in cham

For the last two days of climbing in Cham I teamed up with our newbie Charlie 🙂 Initially we wanted to do a route on Dent du Geant  and then famous Rochefort ridge on the next day. Unfortunately weather forecast wasn’t good – a very strong wind basically made any high altitude activity impossible. Climbing a needle as tall as Dent du Geant would be a bit of Patagonia experience. Feeling not so ready for this we decided to change our decision and we chose an area called Envers des Aiguilles. In French it means ‘the other side of the needles’ which is quite funny cause I always thought that Courmayeur was on the other side of Cham… 😉

no need to rope up on this flat and not-so-cracky part of mer de glace

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Stage 4 – back to the roots

Snow and rock – the origins of Alpinism!

Chamonix – the Mecca of alpine climbing!

Mont Blanc range – a historical place where routes opened with Alpenstock and nails meet extreme lines climbed freely only recently!

Sounds attractive? I bet it does 🙂 This is where we’re going for the 4th stage of Mountain Academy and you can also be the part of it. Now for the details:

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Cogne – farewell video

This is our farewell video from the very last day in Cogne. After a wonderful ice climbing week the time came to get back to our homes. Although sad to leave we were also very excited about the 4th stage of Mountain Academy coming in June 2012 in Mont Blanc range 🙂

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Discovering ice

Today we bring you another set of memories from Cogne. Below is very personal and bilingual report prepared by Fede. Go ahead and immerse into her impressions from that wonderful week we had not so long ago…

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Alla scoperta del ghiaccio

Discovering ice

Non è la prima volta che mi ritrovo appesa con minute lame appuntite a fragili colate di ghiaccio, nel gelo di budelli ombrosi dimenticati in valli assolate.

It’s not the first time I find myself hanging with tiny pointed blades to frail iced flows, in the chill of shady guts forgotten into sunny valleys.

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