Cosley & Houston, Alpine Guides
March 2002 Newsletter
on the Cosmiques Arête, Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc
This is the day Emery climbed with Markperfect!
Maurer and Mark on the Cosmiques Arête.
to all our friends and sympathetic listeners:
been too long, once again, since we've been in touch with you, but
it is with gratitude that we sit down to write you now. We're grateful
to all those of you who joined us on climbs, trips and adventures
during the last 8 months. We're also grateful for the places we've
had the privilege to go, and the things we've been able to attempt
and often achieve.
we wrote you last July, we've had another great summer season of
guiding in the Alps, an attempt on Cho Oyu, and a fairly tranquil
fall and winter season mostly at homeunusual for us. We enjoyed
an uncommonly good early season snowpack here in the Sierra, timely
for us since we had bought season's passes at Mammoth Mountain at
fire-sale prices last spring.
Maurer and Mark found this weather on Mont Blanc.
the lowdown on the last few months' activities:
Maurer of Salt Lake City was joined by Mark for an attempt on Mont
Blanc in mid-July. A monster dump of snow made the "hike"
up to the Goûter Hut truly a mountaineering experience in
and of itself, and the weather continued too poor to make a realistic
attempt. After returning to Chamonix in defeat, they scooted up
the Cosmiques Arête as a consolation prizea cold climb
on a brilliant, clear day.
that Susan Lowery and her husband Roy Zagieboylo hooked up with
Mark, for climbing in the Chamonix area. They accomplished a lot
in a few short days, including the Petite Aiguille Verte (beware,
Chris Kulp, the gauntlet has been thrown down!), Pointes Lachenal,
the Cosmiques Arête, the SE Ridge of the Tour Ronde, the Index,
the Midi-Plan traverse, and Mont Blanc du Tacul on an arctic-weather
Joan Sutherland of Groton, New York was climbing with Kathy. This
was a first-time trip together for these two, and they too accomplished
a lot, both in the summits department and in the realm of NYT Sunday
Crossword Puzzles (a fetish of Kathy's). They started out in the
Chamonix area: a traverse of the French/Italian frontier ridge to
the summit of the Aiguille d'Entrèves was done in two separate
half-day installments, combined with other climbs; the SE ridge
of the Tour Ronde; the Cosmiques Arête, and Mont Blanc via
the traverse of Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit (on the descent
from which Joan had to shepherd a suddenly flu-stricken and helpless
Kathy back to her hotel bed); before heading over to Zermatt where
they had the great luck of good weather and conditions on the Matterhorn.
Joan and Kathy were thrilled to succeed on both Mont Blanc and the
Matterhorn, a combination requiring both great stamina and excellent
luck with the weather. Joan had both.
such luck was not to bless Jon Penn, during his second attempt to
climb the Matterhorn, this time with Kathy. Jon is ready, willing
and itchin' to get that peak, but a truly huge dump of snow put
it out of reach during the time he had for it this year.
did get in a climb of the Wellenkuppe and Ober Gabelhorn, a big climb
with great views, involving plenty of variety and challenge both
on rock and on icy snow slopes. The route was generously smattered
with ice and newly fallen snow, which along with a chill, stiff
wind made for a tough, long and satisfying climb. An attempt the
following day on the Zinalrothorn was foiled by the same multi-day
storm that thwarted the Matterhorn attempt as well. Instead, after
an amusing, drizzly, slippery descent of the "via ferrata"
in the Gorner Gorge, they headed over to Monte Rosa, only to be
turned back by an icy, flesh-freezing wind! Sometimes the mountains
can be cruel.
Kathy and Jon were freezing their butts in Zermatt, Emery Dameron
was met by Mark in Chamonix, where they climbed the Index and Cosmiques
Arête despite a nagging knee injury of Emery's.
Kulp the intrepid was back in the Alps with Mark in August. They
got in several great rock routes before a variation of the "Chamonix
Plague" that was still circulating, put Chris down for several
days and foiled an attempt on the Meije in the Ecrins region near
La Grave. Feeling better for the Innominata route on Mont Blanc,
they were turned back by weather that was too good! The hot sun
made crossing the central couloir high on the route inadvisable.
Still, among the great routes they explored together were the Aiguille
du Peigne, The Flèche Rousse on the Aiguille d'Argentière,
Mani Puliti in the Aiguilles Rouges, the Tour des Crochues by the
Galbert route, and Tchao Godillo in the Col de la Colombière.
Kulp on the Traverse of the Aiguille d'Entrèves. The
Aiguille verte in the background.
Kulp on Mani Puliti, a great rock route in the Aiguilles Rouges.
Kathy headed over to the Dolomites to join a contingent of the Latham
family: Andy, wife Jan, and sons Adam and Stephen. They had fun in
the sun, climbing sport and multi-pitch routes on fine limestone,
and sampling some of the airy, exciting and historic via ferrata near
the town of Cortina, enjoying great pasta and coffee! After a day
of sight seeing "en famille" in Venice, Andy and Kathy saw
Jan and the boys off at the Milan airport, and drove to Switzerland
for a last few productive days climbing before their time ran out.
They had good weather, and quickly climbed the Jungfrau, followed
by the Eiger via the Mittellegi Ridge and South Ridge descent. This
exciting, extremely exposed ridge climb was a long, committing, beautiful
climb on a gorgeous day. Following that, with one day left, they drove
over to Piz Bernina and climbed the beautiful mixed ridge on the Piz
Palu, before parting company in Milan.
hams it up on the summit of the Aiguille d'Argentière.
Oyu as seen from Base Camp. The wind blows a big lenticular
over the summit.
Winter at Home (mostly)
hadn't been home long before Chris Kulp made the drive over the
hill for a quick climb of the North Ridge of Conness, a great fall
day. This winter we have been working away on a writing project,
and skiing and climbing too. Since January our skis have had less
use than our ice climbing gear however. Kim McElhinney and Hugh
Driscoll came out for a weekend at Lee Vining with Kathy, while
Mark roped up with several other visitors: Chris Kulp, Frank Sainburg
of Avila Beach, Wanda Neste of Palm Springs, and Scott Anderson
of Pacific Palisades.
late January Kathy headed back to Ouray, Colorado for the 3rd annual
"Chicks With Picks" event hosted by Kim Reynolds of San
Juan Mountain Guides of Ouray. This year Chicks was better attended
and organized even than before. The clinic was expanded to include
a few more participants, and several new, extremely strong and professional
guides joined the line-up: Carolyn Parker, Abby Watkins, Mattie
Sheafor, Anna Keeling and Amy Bullard joined the established group
of Kitty Calhoun, Angela Hawse, Jen Grimes and Kathy. The depth
and strength of this group of instructors allows women of all levels
of experience and ability, from absolute beginners to experienced
leaders and mixed climbers, to be challenged and get a lot of climbing
and learning in a short time.
and Kathy gave well-received slide shows attended by the "chicks"
as well as by local residents and visiting climbers. These events,
featuring auctions and a bar stocked by a local brewery ("cheap
gear and free beer"), benefit a local women's shelter and every
year raise more money for a great cause. Kathy says she feels honored
and privileged to be a part of this event, which she looks forward
to every February.
we're breaking in our tight little rock shoes, and trying to get
out rock climbing in the Owens River Gorge a couple of times per
week. Spring is just around the corner, and we want to be in shape
for it, and for y'all!
NEXT FOR 2002?
Sunny Rock & Frozen Ice
the end of March, Kathy heads to Joshua Tree to join Marian Marbury
of Adventures in Good Company
for a week of rock climbing with another fun group of women. Mark
will be climbing on spikes on the still-frozen waterfalls of Banff,
with Chris Kulp for our annual pilgrimage.
toward the Col du Belvedere. The Chamonix Aiguilles and Mont
Blanc Massif behind.
and May Alps Ski Tours
and Kathy will meet at the L.A. airport, in time to fly to Geneva
for several ski tours, on which there is at the time of writing
still room for more folks, in case anyone is interested. We're doing
2 Chamonix - Zermatt Haute Routes, one by the slightly mellower
Verbier route (April 3-10), the other
by the steeper Plateau du Couloir route
(April 23-30). We will also run a 6-day tour of peak ascents/descents
in the Berner Oberland (April 3-8),
in addition to a couple of private trips.
be home in early May, and then off to Peru on May 26 for two
trips to the Ishinca Valley. The
first trip will be various ascents from the traditional base
camp in the valley, the second will involve two high traverses
into and out of the valley, to explore other nearby peaks
and climb some less frequented summits. There may still be
room on these trips, write us if you think you'd like to join
to Spetember Alps Alpinism
July will see us briefly at home, for family visits and the wedding
of a dear friend. Then we're off again to the Alps where we already
have every day accounted for!
September Mount Kenya
mid-September Mark and Emery Dameron will be heading to Mount Kenya,
to climb the North Side Standard Route of the Batian summit (some
of you may recall that Kathy and Mike Christianson did this climb
in autumn of 2000). Kathy is available to head up another rope team
there. If any of you thinks you'd like to join her, please drop
us an email for more information. It would be ideal to hook up with
the same dates and itinerary, which have Mark and Emery arriving
in Nairobi on September 13 and leaving the 27th.
& November Nepal
that, we both have tentative plans to hook up with Mike Christianson
for a private expedition in Nepal, and possibly another with Chris
Kulp. We're keeping an eye on events there, and will have to make
our plans as time and circumstances unfold. It's a bit hard to plan
things in Nepal these days.
2002-3 New Zealand
home, we hope to be in Bishop for the holidays, and then in the
first two months, we are planning a long vacation in New Zealand!
that's as far as the crystal ball extends, for now. As Kathy's mom
likes to say, "Lord willin' and the crick don't rise",
we'll see some of you along the way. Please let us know if any of
these trips sound interesting to you, or if you have ideas of your
own about how we can spend our time with you! We would love to hear
from you, and hook up for a trip together. In any case, have a great
year out and about, and keep in touch.
can as ever contact us by email, by phone or letter. Email is usually
the best way to reach us quickly, unless you catch us at home. You
can refer to our calendar on our web
site to increase the chances of snagging us while we're airing the
tents here in Bishop. And have a look at the "recent
trips" page to see more picks of what we have been up to.
1627 Dunbar Lane
Bishop, CA 9351
Cosley & Mark Houston
UIAGM / IFMGA Internationally Certified Mountain Guides
Rock, Alpine, & Ski Mountaineering Guides
All images, layout and text ©2002
Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved