Capucino Grande

 

Capucino Grande, please…

When we woke up at three o’clock and look at the Bojan’s bed, it was empty. Where the f*** is that crazy guy. We were lucky when we saw him lying on the floor in front of our door. Yeah its true that our roommates were maybe two winter sleeping grizzlies, their inhuman snoring was crazy

Quick breakfast and let’s go. We still didn’t know if it will be possible to climb our goal – Grand Capucin. Because the wind and weather forecast wasn’t the best, we decided to change our plans a little bit and instead of the Bonatti’s route we decided for the shorter Swiss route (TD+, 6b A0, 300m).

Head lamps on and we started walking in freezing cold night, starry sky and kinda strong wind still. When we got closer the wall, wind wasn’t so breezy  anymore and we decided to go there and give a try.

In the wall the temperatures were low and we were waiting for the sun for a long time. Respect for guys (Asper, Bron, Grossi, Morel) which in 1956 went with courage for this wall. For sure they were inspired by Bonatti, which in 1951 found this perfect piece of granite interesting and made there the first beatiful and strenuous line.

Our ascent was much faster than firstascentist’s for sure, but with modern equipment it is not surprising at all. After few metres in crampons we left our ice stuff on the ledge and continued just in boots next two or three pitches, then we start climbing just in climbing shoes and after 4 hours we reached the summit of Grand Capucin.

We liked the most the third and seven pitch which are really nice thin cracks and it was a  pleasure to climb them.

So after we enjoyed the summit view and took some photos, we started the abseiling quickly because the wind was getting stronger.

It was perfect trip with perfect guys and our video shows you that I’m right 😉

Climbers: Luca Blanchet, Milos Kalab, Bojan Hribernik
Text: Milos Kalab
Video: Bojan Hribernik

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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brévent – c’est magnifique

after three days in a row of climbing we felt it was a good idea to pick some shorter and less demanding goals for day four. some journalists joined us and we wanted to show them how life and tmac is, so we chose the brevent area with some quality sport and trad lines. dave – chief editor of climber magazine – climbed with us and we had a chat about what we do at tmac while dave was taking a lot of action pictures.

Three, two, one, BASE! A jumper dives, shouts and flies his wingsuit all the way down to the valley. His buddy follows closely. Their diving board is situated on the very top of the Brévent in the Aiguilles Rouges. Our route called Ex Libris happened to be ending just underneath this diving board. It was pretty surprising and even a bit scary to suddenly hear and then see two men flying by, while negotiating the final pitches of medium quality rock. The first three pitches of the 150 m line were superb though: a beautiful corner crack – no bolts, no pegs (only bolted belay stations.) Manu was continuously teasing our man from Argentina; Milos and Isabel clearly enjoyed this trad style of rock climbing too.

coming down after a full day in the sun, the heat in the valley was immense! later in the afternoon some went for refreshing ice cream and then on to ohm – the mountain guide office – in the centre of chamonix where we were used all the available resources as guidebooks, maps, weather forecast etc. to make a plan for the next day (and maybe even overnight locations). stay tuned to see if our plans worked out.

carlsberg don’t do alpine faces, but if they did…

so it cleared up overnight. finally. one could feel it before waking up in the tent – it was a bit crisper and most of all brighter than previous mornings. it was the weather window we all had been waiting for. charlie, our new team member based in the uk, wrote a story about his day.

“my introduction to alpine rock climbing could not have been better. isabel and i, along with our guide neil, did a route on the south face of the aiguille du midi called rebuffat. it’s an alpine classic and found why today. it starts just below the midi station, once you pass the narrow snow ridge it’s an easy walk to the base of the wall. the wall itself stands pround 200 metres from the base of the vallèe blanche and anyone walking past this point for the first time can’t help stopping and starring at it. i did that exact thing nearly three years ago. i stopped, stared, and thought…wow… i would love to climb that one day. now i have and it was fantastic. the climbing itself was very interesting, lots of cracks of all sizes, with some slabs to mix things up. the weather was glorious, warm but not too hot – just comfortable and the sky was very clear so views from the belays took us into switzerland and italy. isabel’s great attitude only added to the day’s fun and neil’s experience allowed me to focus on enjoying the day not worrying about safety. it was an incredible experience and something i will look back on with fond memories for a long time.”