With just a couple of days left in Cham, Peter and I teamed up with British Guide (NOT the one from the Entreves!) Owain Jones for a climb on the Vallon de Berard slab. I'd done the route a few years back and knew what good quality it was, so I was happy to do it again. I'd also not done the top buttress (an extra 4 pitches), only the lower 8 pitches, as the top had been soaking wet last time so I was pleased to finally get a full ascent. One slight downer was that someone had drilled new holds into the 2 short crux sections, making the route easier than the stated 6a, and also making it feel a bit artificial. Why would you drill holds in a route?!?! Why not just get better at climbing? Anyway, drilled holds or not, the route is superb, as are the views, and a fun day was had.
Owain on the lower section. Photo Peter Riley.
Peter and Owain on the final pitch. Worth noting at this point that Peter fell off on the very last move of the route, thereby blowing the onsight - unforgiveable.
October in Cham. It's not a bad life.
Unfortunately my time in Cham is now done for 2011, but my lift pass for 2012 is already ordered! I'm off to Nepal (work), Morocco (play) and Scotland (suffering...again) over the next few months so no doubt time will fly and before I know it I'll be SKIING! It would be fair to say I'm quite excited about this fact. I'll be updating my site over the autumn with some shots from those trips, but this blog will be a bit quiet for a while
Final thing - for those in London, with not much to do next Friday (October 14th), I'm giving a talk at "The Winch" in Swiss Cottage, 7.00pm, entry a bargain at 3 quid! There will be no posturing about being fast, light, and generally all round amazing, fear not. I'll be talking about how to get into alpinism, how to actually get things done and stay alive, and also telling a few tales about my own experiences. More info here -
Hopefully see you there, and if not, bring on January for powder, and maybe even some ice climbing. Ciao.