Friday, 11 June 2010

Gietroz and Chesereys

The dreaded Foehn wind arrived in Cham recently and as usual has brought really warm and unstable weather. The mountains have been blasted by wind and the Midi was shut for a couple of days so we've been keeping our heads down and going cragging. Gietroz was first up yesterday, and we all had a good day, with Tom onsighting 7a for the first time - nice work. The crag is amazing, I'd somehow managed not to go before, and I'll definitely be back soon.

                                      Dave belaying with the back of the Le Tour behind.

Growing a bit bored of bolt clipping and keen for a bit of adventure, Hugh and I hitched up to the Col des Montets and went up to the Kinou area of Les Chesereys. Peter and I had been up and done Kinou (6b) itself a while back and noticed how big the crag is and how few routes there are, so we were keen to do a new route.

We started up a nice corner just right of Kinou and I led 3 pitches to get us started and then handed over the lead following a very civilised lunch stop on a ledge. Hugh climbs hard on bolts but hasn't done much trad yet he was still keen for a lead. Luckily he was armed with my quick run through of how to place gear - "You'll work it out if you're scared enough" - and shot up a pretty bold pitch. Good effort.

We managed to link together some really nice sections of climbing, and although we had to cross Kinou twice (resisted the temptation to clip the bolts!) we did the whole route and all the belays on trad gear. I doubt the climbing press will be clammering for the story, but we reckonned it was about E1 5a, and we're calling it "The Harrowing".

                           Kinou Crag. Our route stayed about 20 metres left of the waterfall all the way.

     Foehn looks like it's here for a few days yet so more unstable weather and no big missions. Bummer.