I have been based in Chamonix for two months and have been out skiing and climbing as much as work would allow and generally enjoying alpine life.
The winter has been a good one for climbing, not so good for skiing, with very little snow generally.
Chamonix life has been pretty amazing, I have to say, and what was supposed to be a two month quick hit might turn in to something a fair bit longer. As long as I can avoid spending vast amounts of cash on the very expensive beer this place has to offer!
Anyway – down to the climbing. I have been lucky enough to team up with loads of really nice people in Chamonix, as well as hooking up with old friends and ex-North Wales types.
First off the weather was so sunny I explored a few of the local boulders in the valley – and unbeknown to many – Chamonix has zillions of world class problems. An ideal spring or autumn bouldering venue. They can be hard to find, but luckily I had a knowledgeable guide in the form of Matt Perrier – a friend of quite some years who I have had the pleasure of bouldering with in various different countries. Here Matt is attempting a project line. Neither of us got up it that day – but it will go! Probably around the V12 mark I thought.
As well as bouldering, I have done a few routes in the mountains with a variety of partners. The two highlights were probably the North Face of the Droites with Cautious Tom and of course the North Face of the Eiger with Crazy Rob.
Here is a shot of Tom on the summit of the Droites:
And a quick photo of the North Face of the Eiger. I will be doing a much bigger post about this route soon, as I am doing a piece for UKC on it. It would be fair to say it was pretty cold. Rob and I climbed the route without incident and had just enough kit to keep us pretty toasty really.
Rob had bivy envy when it came to my Lithium sleeping bag…. “no Rob, I’m not cold and I don’t want to get up!” … and what a route! Death Bivy was amazing.
That’s it for now – more Eiger photos and info to come soon.
Email: Jack.geldard ( at) gmail.com