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21 septembre 2012 5 21 /09 /septembre /2012 00:01

Piz Badile is one of the greatest North Face of the Alps. It is a sea of rock, 800 meters high above glaciers which have retreated a lot! It lies in the east end of the Alps, on the Swiss Italian Border. You can see Piz Bernina and Lake Como from the summit

The objective is the Cassin route (TD, 6a). Its first ascent was done in 1937 and ended tragically as one of the two parties who did it died of exhaustion while descending after having spent two nights in the face

With Louis, who guides me, we left Chamonix on Monday to get in time to the Furä hut (1900m) for a nice dinner and where we enjoy an awesome sunset .

On Tuesday, we leave the hut before dawn at 4 45am. No time to loose as the objective is to be the first in a route where it is difficult to bypass. And here we are! Starting a route composed of more than twenty 50m pitches with quite a lot of route findings in some places, steep, rising high above the glacier.

We are soon over the first bivvy of Cassin and then the second. Even today many climbing parties are spending more than a day in this route....

After a massive chimney, we finally reached the North ridge which we followed up to the summit. We summited at 11 40, 5h30 after the start of the rock climb, 1500 m above the hut! Stunning landscape. So great to be there, on the summit.

Soon though, we need to think of going down. In light of the good weather and of our good shape, Louis decides to go down along the North ridge. It's a new technical route in itself. Down climbs and numerous abseils! We say hello to many climbing parties who are still far away from the summit, some of them might have to bivvy on the summit.... We also see a few late parties in the Cassin route. After more than 3 hours, we finally get out of the difficulties. Soon we stop for a drink at the hut before getting back to the car, ready for the long drive to Chamonix.

An amazing mountaineering experience. Many thanks to Louis

 

Piz Badile 02
Piz Badile 01   Piz Badile 03

Piz Badile 04   Piz Badile 05

Piz Badile 06
Piz Badile 07   Piz Badile 08

Piz Badile 09
Piz Badile 10
Piz Badile 11
Piz Badile 12
Piz Badile 14
Piz Badile 16
Piz Badile 15   Piz Badile 17

Piz Badile 18   Piz Badile 19

Piz Badile 20
Piz Badile 21

 

Thierry, accompagné de Louis Laurent, guide de haute montagne.

Découvrir les stages "grande course".

The slideshow of Thierry.

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7 août 2012 2 07 /08 /août /2012 00:28

The Grutter ridge is one of the classics of the Aiguilles de Chamonix Massif. It leads to the summit of Aiguille des Pélerins at 3318m.

It's an awesome route (D, 5b), rather vertical and sometimes airy. It is one of the best 100 routes described by the famous French guide, Rébuffat.

Elle surplombe l'aiguille du Peigne et est dominée par l'Aiguille du Midi, l'aiguille des Deux Aigles et l'aiguille du Plan.

Early start on a steep glacier but with no bergschrund :)

There are a few amazing pitches on this ridge, one of which leading to an impressive, isolated gendarme.

Thierry.

 

Grüter 01   Grüter 02

Grüter 03
Grüter 04   Grüter 05

Grüter 06     Grüter 07

Grüter 08
Grüter 10
Grüter 11
Grüter 12
Grüter 13More pictures.

 

Thierry, accompagné de Louis Laurent, guide de haute montagne.

Découvrir la montagne avec un guide.

English version in blog.

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4 août 2012 6 04 /08 /août /2012 00:39

 

L'Aiguille des Ciseaux (Scissor Peak 3479m) is easy to spot from the village of Chamonix. And indeed, when reaching the summit, it really looks like a pair of scissors, a proper rock blade and it is very airy when looking down to Chamonix.

les ciseaux 18

Les Ciseaux (à droite), versant Mer de Glace


5 years ago, while I was coming down from the normal route of Aiguille du Moine, my guide, Denis, showed the Troussier Route on the Ciseaux (D,5a) and said that I would probably be able to do it one day. He also said that this route was to be done early in the season because of the bergschrund

And here we are. It's early July and Louis and I are hiking up to the Envers des Aiguilles hut at 2500m.

We left the hut at 5am. The crossing of the bergschrund will take time as Louis also set a fixed rope for the following climbing parties. After the scary crossing of the bergschrund, we started the rock climb, steep, beautiful, never too difficult. We reached the summit slightly before 11am, 4 hours after the bergschrund.

Awesome views. From a distant peak, a friend of Louis took, by chance, a picture of him arriving on the summit.

Then we started to go down, multiple abseils. Lower down, we saw an other guide and his client who left the hut at the same time as we did. And then, it's the bergschrund again....

Small stop at the hut before the ladders leading to the Mer de Glace

An amazing climb, the third I have done from this hut after Republique/Grand Charmoz and Roc Grepon

 

les ciseaux 01   les ciseaux 02

les ciseaux 03   les ciseaux 04

les ciseaux 05
les ciseaux 06   les ciseaux 07

les ciseaux 08
les ciseaux 09
les ciseaux 10   les ciseaux 11

les ciseaux 12   les ciseaux 13

les ciseaux 14
les ciseaux 15
les ciseaux 16
les ciseaux 17
More pictures.

 

Thierry, with Louis Laurent, hight mountain guide.

Hight montain guide just for you.

  More english version in blog.

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15 octobre 2011 6 15 /10 /octobre /2011 00:04

On 1,2,3, October, Yoyo (from Holland), Matt(from England) and I trained on around the Col du Geant for their competition to the South Pole. They will compete this winter (summer down south) with other teams for three weeks in Antarctica, racing to the South Pole on skis and pulling sleds.
We had beautiful autumn weather, although they wished for stormy training weather, while we practiced winter camping in a tent, pulling sled, skiing, crevasse rescue, and many other skills they will need to traverse the frozen continent.
Good luck in your race Yoyo and Matt.
Michael Sillitch, guide de haute montagne.

pole-south-1.jpg
pole south 2
pole-south-3.jpg
pole-south-4.jpg

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7 octobre 2011 5 07 /10 /octobre /2011 00:41

The Aiguilles Rouges are facing the Mont Blanc Massif and are an amazing area for rock climbing! Its also a good place to go when the weather looks potentially unsettled as it is easy to get

This set is about two days of climbing, guided by Louis

Fontes de Jouvence is a beautiful route on the North face of Aiguille Pourrie (2511m, TD-, 5c), very Alpine and far from the crowds!

Arrête Rouge (D, 5b) and Asia (D+, 5c avec un pas de 6a) are two classics in the Grande Floria.

Texte en Français.

 

fontes jouvence 01
fontes jouvence 02
fontes jouvence 03
fontes jouvence 04   fontes jouvence 05

fontes jouvence 06
fontes jouvence 08
fontes jouvence 10
fontes jouvence 09

 

De Thierry Levenq.

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27 septembre 2011 2 27 /09 /septembre /2011 00:12

The Dent du Geant is one of the 4000ers of the Alps. It is one of the 100 best ascent described by the famous French guide Gaston Rébuffat. For me, this has also been the second sighting of an Alpine madonna in my climbing week after the Grepon one as there is an other one of the 4 madonnas of the Mt Blanc range on its summit.

The weather forecast was for a crystal clear blue sky and Louis suggested we climb Géant branché on the right of the normal route but it was pretty unsettled as we started! So we changed the plan and started the normal route (D-, IV+)!

And because it was unsettled, we almost ran.... 5h15 of climbing overall, back to the Torino hut at the same time than parties who left 3 hours earlier!

So. We started just before 9am from Pointe Hellbroner, walked on the Geant Glacier with amazing views on the Aiguilles de Chamonix and on République which we climbed a year ago. After crossing the bergschrund (I don't like them!), we scrambled up to a place called the Dining room which is where the climb really start. Soon we get to the fixed rope of the famous Burgener slabs before reaching the first summit at 4009m.

Then we arrived to the true summit, Pointe Graham at 4013m. Amazing scenery despite the bloody unsettled weather.

Soon, it was time to go down through a succesion of very (very) steep abseils. Following that, we down climbed back to the glacier, en route to the Torino hut where we started.

 

la Dent du Géant 01
la Dent du Géant 02
la Dent du Géant 03   la Dent du Géant 04

la Dent du Géant 05
la Dent du Géant 07    la Dent du Géant 06

la Dent du Géant 08
la Dent du Géant 09
la Dent du Géant 10

 

Texte et photos de Thierry Levenq, accompagné de Louis Laurent, guide de haute montagne

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26 septembre 2011 1 26 /09 /septembre /2011 00:29

The Ecandies ridge belongs to the 100 best climbs described by the famous French guide Gaston Rebuffat. It's an amazing rock ridge graded D with two steps of V+. It's not very high, 2783m, but the scenery is amazing!

We had an early start as we were walking at 6am, just before sunrise. While we were driving from Chamonix to Champeix we saw many participants of the Ultratrail race who were still running, in the dark, having started more than 24hours before!

Beautiful approach in the Val d'Arpette which is also the route taken, on the way down, by those doing the Haute Route. We started to climb slightly after 8 and, as we got higher up, we discovered the amazing landscape of the Trient glacier on one side and the Oberland in the distance on the other side.

Very nice climb, quite airy as we progressed around many gendarmes. Soon, we climbed the crux of the route, a beautiful razor edge step. And then we arrived at the surprise of the day : the Angel jump. No other choice than to get over the void to continue on the ridge! In the end it was more impressive than difficult.

At 11am, we are down on the Val d'Arpette. We saw no one else on the route but now there are two parties approaching the razor edge step, well behind us.

Guided by Louis, it was an excellent introduction to the week of climbing which will follow.

Lire en français

 

Ecandies 01
Ecandies 02
Ecandies 03
Ecandies 04
Ecandies 05
Ecandies 06
Ecandies 07
Ecandies 08
Ecandies 09
Ecandies 10


Texte et photos de Thierry Levenq.

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