Chris Worth • September 11-16, 2006

Chris Worth, who hails from Singapore, joined Mark in the Mont Blanc Massif for some end-of-the-season alpine climbing. Originally we had hoped to climb both Mont Blanc as well as the Matterhorn, but recent snow had shut down the Zermatt season, and we opted to stay in France. Conditions on Mont Blanc were still quite good, however. If only the weather would give us a chance...

Other Recent Trips

Our first route was the always-fun and just as classic Arête des Cosmiques. Here, climbers descend the snow ridge that leads to the Vallée Blanche and access to the Cosmiques. The Grandes Jorasses, Mont Mallet, Aiguille du Rochefort and the Dent du Géant behind.


A skiff of new snow from the previous night added to the fun.


For all the times I have done this great route, I'm invariably impressed by the fantastic views.


One more pitch to go...


For our second climb we decided on the Aiguille d'Entrèves, a rocky summit on the border between France and Italy. Access is via the "Panoramic" cable car ride, then a short walk across the glacier.


Chris on the Entreves. There had been quite a bit of new snow on the northern shady aspects, which made the route a bit more "interesting" than normal.


Our original plan called for us to climb Mont Blanc later in the week, after we had been able to get a tad more acclimated. However, France-Meteo was calling for only one more very good day, then very nasty weather indeed. We decided to bring Mont Blanc forward and strike while the iron was hot.

We rode the cable car back to the Aiguille du Midi and continued with the short walk to the Cosmiques hut in preparation for the traverse of Mont Blanc the following day. Here, we are looking out the window of the lift, towards the Tour Ronde.


Starting out in the pre-dawn darkness for Mont Blanc.


Sunrise on the summit.


Looking back towards Mont Maudit in the foreground and the Aiguille Verte on the skyline from about 4600 meters (15,000 feet).


Chris on the summit.


Looking back the summit ridge from our descent.


Arriving at the Goûter hut on the way down. We spent the night at the Tête Rousse hut, about two hours below the Goûter. And true to form, the weather did deteriorate during the night, with high winds and spitting rain the following morning as we continued our descent to town.


On our day five, it was not at all clear that we would be able to climb at all, as much rain fell the previous night and morning. But an afternoon clearing prompted us to get out and do a few pitches of rock at Vallorcine, a local crag.


Rappelling down after our route at Vallorcine.


On our last day of climbing, the weather was too funky in the high mountains, but not so bad in the Aiguille Rouges. We rode the Flégère lift and climbed two routes, Mani Puliti and also the South Ridge of the Index, seen here.


Chris on Mani Puliti.


And on the South Ridge of the Index. Chamonix down in the valley, far below.


Enjoying the easy access to, and descent from, the Aiguille Rouges.

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