Sunday, 4 July 2010

Aiguille du Peigne

Although we’re getting plenty of sun right now, the daily thunderstorm in the late afternoon is still ruling out any really big routes, so we’re sticking to day routes. An attempt at a big route ended last night when we got to the mid station, were about to walk into a bivi, and then were hit by a huge downpour, so promptly got back on the bin and ran away!

In search for a route which would dry quickly we opted to “send” the classic Papillons ridge on the Aiguille du Peigne. On the first bin, we were climbing not long after 8, and shot up the route pretty quickly, moving together virtually the whole way. The climbing is absolutely amazing, and only has a couple of tricky moves. There’s plenty of gear too, so pretty faultless all round!

Heading up the Papillons

From the top we scrambled up to join the west ridge to the summit, and the superb climbing just kept coming. The standard is slightly more sustained there, and we pitched up to the final platform below the summit.

Trying not to grunt too much on a typical Chamonix pitch!

However, by the time we got there we were starting to get a bit concerned about the gathering cloud, and one look at the infamous Lepiney off width crack sent us running away for the second time in 24 hours! We got held up by a guide and client on the way down and only just made the bin and narrowly escaped the downpour, so a good end to the day. We had two 50 metre ropes, although you could easily manage with one 60 metre. I tried to convince Peter we didn’t need the second rope but he offered to carry it the whole way, which won me over.

Peter is keen to go back for a return date with the Lepiney but I’m not too sure, looked a bit brutal to me!