Wednesday 5 September 2012

Petit Clocher du Portalet SE Ridge

With a couple of days of semi clear weather, Peter and I decided to head up to the Orny hut and do some granite cragging on our first day, followed by the uber classic SE Ridge on the Petit Clocher du Portalet. 

For our cragging we went over to the very convenient Aiguille de la Cabane, and did a couple of really nice routes on the perfect granite.

All Photos Peter Riley - 

Me pulling hard on the Aiguille de la Cabane

The next morning we were up and away by 6.30, and feeling slightly worse for wear after getting stuck into the hut's wine supplies the night before....

Me walking in

Petit Clocher du Portalet at sunrise

The walk in is pretty involved, with some boulder hopping and some exposed traversing near the end, but only takes about 90 minutes. From there the SE Ridge is a classic route, consisting mainly of steep crack climbing. Followers of this blog will know that steep cracks are not exactly my specialty, and what with Peter having been the one who suggested the route and him being much keener on it than me, it was agreed after the first (sandbag) pitch that I might be most useful being a passenger and carrying the food and water. This arrangement suited both of us, and the route passed quickly and without any dramas. The climbing is mainly superb, albeit fairly harshly graded, and breathtakingly exposed in places.

Me getting dragged up the SE Ridge

The summit of the Clocher is amazing, and as exposed as it looks from below. I'm not sure I deserve a tick having seconded the route, but a great day was had and we sat on an incredible summit so who cares about the tick? 

M&Ms on the summit - life doesn't get any better

The area around the Orny hut is clearly something of a granite climbing mecca, and I've wanted to check it out for years, so it was good to confirm that it is indeed a fantastic rock venue, and that I'd like to go back again soon. Yet another place to go back to - it's a tough life.