Saturday 27 June 2015

Climbing the Classics - Aiguillette de la Floria, Mani Puliti & Lépidoptères

It seems as if the weather has been ropey in Chamonix for weeks now so the fact that we've finally got some blue sky is very welcome. To celebrate the arrival of the sun, I've been out making the most of it and working through some of the classics of the Valley.

First up was a half day with John Vincent ticking off the south-west arete of the Aiguillette de la Floria, followed by "La Plage" on the same peak. The weather wasn't as good as forecast and we moved together for most of the day just to stay warm but given that it was tipping with rain at 9am, getting to the end of the day with the best part of 10 pitches of climbing in the bag felt like a good result.

John clinging on to winter with some ski-less skiing.

The Drus looking moody through the mist.

The next day was the first real "bluebird" that had been forecast for ages and with my mate Ed over from Lancashire, we shot up "Mani Puliti" just above the Index chairlift. I'd somehow never got round to doing the route before but it was superb, with good rock throughout and excellent views. 

Ed leading on Mani Puliti.

Friday saw Ed and me out again, this time on the slabs of the Aiguille du Peigne and specifically Lépidoptères, a low grade classic that leads onto the Papillons ridge. After a few shenanigans finding the right approach, we were soon underway and fired up the route in no time, leaving us plenty of opportunity to enjoy a leisurely lunch looking at the superb view.

Ed low down on Lépidoptères.

Some French climbers on an adjacent route being dwarfed by the Midi's north face.

Ed has now teamed up with other mates but he reckons he can convince me to get out climbing sometime next week instead of working. He's probably right but I'm going to try to be strong. In the meantime, make sure you give Ed a toot if you see him driving around the Valley in "The Munchkin Mobile". Ed's got a cool company called Mountain Munchkins and all I will say is that what his car-based marketing lacks in subtlety it makes up for in effectiveness! You won't miss him if you do see him. 

The weather now looks superb for this week and I'll likely be out making the most of it so stay tuned.