Sunday 30 January 2011

Sorry to say we were late

Since "Late to say I'm sorry" appeared in Jon Griffith's blog it has gone from obscure aid route to modern classic (Oh, to have such influence through a blog!!!) and with it looking really good right now, Tom and I were keen to get on it. Not keen on a night in the Grand Montets lift station we decided to get first lift up, figuring that if we got to the top of the diffculties in the light, we would be confident of being able to descend in the dark.
As it turned out there was a french team also going for the route and they got ahead of us whilst approaching the route. The route looked like a perfect funnel and we decided we weren't keen on climbing it with anyone above us knocking ice down and so had to find a new plan.

French team sneaking ahead!

Initially we thought about going for a look at the Petit Viking but as we were skinning up the Glacier we changed our minds and decided to ski the Col des Cristaux instead. By this stage the cold, wind and disappointment about our original plan were getting to me and I was beginning to think of an afternoon of coffee and DVDs, so I was grateful to Tom for giving me a telling off and 600mg of man up!

The bergschrund on the Cristaux is fine and the bootpack up only took an hour and bit. However, the very top section looked quite cruddy so we skied from a little col just below the main one.

I carried that headcam all the way up and then the battery died as we started the ski!


The snow was pretty variable but overall not too bad. The descent is steep (45 degrees ish) but not too steep, and it is a really nice, open face. If it was ever in powder it would amazing, but its still pretty good anyway - highly recommended.

Having failed to get on our planned route we agreed in the car that we may have to suffer a bit more for our art actually stay in a hut every now and then.
The blog is going to be quiet for a couple of weeks now as I'm off to guide Kilimanjaro. If it snows and everyone has powder days whilst I'm away I'll be furious!!!