I’ve just had a good couple of days climbing with Sarah, who’s back in a months time for a Matterhorn trip.

We climbed up and around the Aiguille du Midi for a day, ticking off three good classics – The traverse of pointe Lachenel, the arete Laurent leading to the Cosmiques hut (coffee stop) and finally up the Cosmiques arete to a very busy lift station, where it took us an hour and a half to get back down, due to the number of tourists up there at the moment.

Yesterday it was pretty stormy, and we just about snuck in a alpine route from the Helbronner lift between thunderstorms. The afternoon was spent at the climbing crag in Chamonix – Les Gaillands, practicing some big boot climbing and abseiling. Plenty of rock climbed in both ascent and descent. All good preparation for the Swiss mountain in a few weeks time.

We’ve had a real change of weather here over the past week, and it now feels like summer has finally arrived. Plenty hot enough in the valley – up to thirty degrees and therefore the snow is melting and transforming pretty rapidly now.

Climbing conditions wise, people are starting to climb some alpine rock now that the sun has made an appearance. The south face of the Aiguille du Midi, Lachenel and Grand Capucin from the Torino hut have all seen climbers in the last few days.

Whilst people are climbing south facing rock routes, others are swinging ice tools on the north facing mountains. The triangle du tacul has seen plenty of ascents, of all the classics such as Left Edge, Les Contamines, Chere etc. On the north face of the midi routes such as Vent du Dragon, and the Profit Perroux have seen ascents as well.

The snow is still pretty deep on the higher peaks such as Mont Blanc, which continues to see more ascents each day. It’s now summer season up there.

Traversing the Lachenel

Traversing the Lachenel

Sarah climbing on the traverse of Pointe Lachenel

Sarah climbing on the traverse of Pointe Lachenel

Climbers on left edge route, triangle du tacul

Climbers on left edge route, triangle du tacul

Cosmiques arete

Cosmiques arete

Near the Helbronner lift and Torino refuge

Near the Helbronner lift and Torino refuge

A short route before the thunderstorms

A short route before the thunderstorms