David Dewar alpine climbing in France • August 8 - 12, 2005

David Dewar, from Scotland, joined Mark for a quick and intense bout of mountaineering in the Chamonix area. We jumped right in with a hike up to the Albert Premier hut, hoping for an ascent of the Forbes Arête on the Aiguille du Chardonnet. However, poor weather just before David's arrival made for a frosty mountain, out of condition. But we managed to do a number of other great climbs, as you'll see below.

Other Recent Trips

The walk up to the Albert Premier hut is very popular with the day-outing hiking set, and understandably so. First, we start with a chair lift – lots of gain with little pain. And then almost as soon as you step off the lift you are faced with views such as this. Here, we are looking SW down the Chamonix valley. Mont Blanc is the giant peak with the Bosson Glacier descending some 3450 meters (11,300 feet) below the summit.


Higher, on the approach to the hut, we get wonderful views of the Aiguille du Chardonnet. The Forbes Arête forms the left-hand skyline, with the normal route on the right.


This is a "stitched" together photo taken at sunset from the Albert Premier hut. The Chardonnet is the peak behind the hut.


Because the hike to the hut only takes 2 to 3 hours, we decided to continue on and do a climb. The Petite Fourche was our choice. It is an easy climb with a fun bit of scrambling at the summit, and one that would get us back to the hut in time for dinner!


The Petite Fourche as seen from near the Aiguille du Tour. You can make out the track leading to the snowy col. Then the route follows the rocks to the highest summit, the left-hand peak.


With the Forbes Arête out of condition, we opted for a rock route on the Aiguille Purtscheller, seen here. The classic route, and the one we did, is the South Ridge with climbs the left skyline from the deep notch. The first pitch was pretty chilly, in the shade, but after that we were in the sun almost the entire way.


Dave climbs delicate face moves on the Purtscheller. The Aiguille d'Argentière and the Chardonnet are the big peaks behind, left and right respectively.


Taking a break on a ledge-with-a-view.


Another party on the last pitch of the Purtscheller. The descent is via 4 or 5 rappels on the back side.


After our stay in the Albert Premier hut, we decided to make an ascent of the Aiguille du Peigne, a fantastic rock peak just above Chamonix. Moving right along, here David smiles for the camera high on the route.


Looking across from the normal route on the Peigne to the Eperon Minettes, another fine route on the same peak. The impressive north face of the Aiguille du Midi as a backdrop.


For our last climb, we chose the absurdly scenic Rochefort Arête, a famous snow ridge that runs along the Franco-Italian border. In this photo another party arrives at the Salle à Manger (the "Dining Room") and the start of the Arête proper. Behind is Mont Blanc.


The beautiful Rochefort Arête. On the right is Italy, on the left France.


Looking north, down the Mer de Glace from the Arête. Mont Mallet is the sharp peak close in on the right. the Aiguille Verte and Les Drus behind on the right, and the Grépon on the far left.


Looking west, towards the Dent du Géant from just past Point 3933.


Another party negotiates a steeper pitch on the Arête. Behind are the Chamonix Aiguilles and the Mer de Glace.


Taking a break on the descent at the Salle à Manger. Courmayeur in Italy lies far below.

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