Grant Carnie, four days with Mark • August 13-16, 2011

This is the last of our group of three pages that feature Grant and friend/colleague Roger, climbing with Kathy and Mark. On this page, Roger spent four days with Mark in the Chamonix area. First, we just managed to squeeze in the Aiguille de Rochefort in advance of deteriorating weather. But, with a fine day just following we climbed the ultra-classic Frendo Spur on the Aiguille du Midi.

For photos of the 6 days of climbing with both, Roger, Grant, Kathy and Mark, click here.

And for pics of Roger, on the three days just prior to those, click here.

Other Trips with Grant

Alps - August 2011
Alps - August 2009
Alps - August 2007

Return to all recent trips

Wanting a bit of a breather from our six days of climbing in the Zermatt / Saas area, we made the most leisurely hut approach available to us, the Torino hut, located only a few (hundred, and rather steep) stair steps away from the Courmayeur lift.

Once settled in we enjoyed a nap and watched these rather tired-looking climbers return to the hut just before darkness fell.


Moonrise in the southeast, from the Torino hut.


And moonset in the west over Mont Blanc.


The forecast called for a rapid deterioration of the weather, but with little precipitation before noon. We calculated that we had time for a fast dash up the Aiguille de Rochefort before the proverbial "s*#t hit the fan".


Another group of climbers on the Rochefort Ridge.


We arrive at the Salle a Manger.


Looking east across the Arête de Rochefort. Our goal, the Aiguille de Rochefort is the rocky peak on the left.


Climbers on the Arête de Rochefort.


Grant tackles a rocky section on the Arête


We did manage to achieve our summit. And promptly returned, with gathering dark clouds all around.

And we even made it almost all the way beck to the comfort of the hut and lift before the rains really let loose. It rained hard that evening and through much of the night.


But the forecast for the next days called for a rapid improvement. Testing that theory, we decided to attempt the Frendo Spur on the north side of the Aiguille du Midi.

Mouse over to see the route.


In order to give ourselves plenty of time for the climb, we spent the night in the lovely hut at the Plan de l'Aiguille.


The window of our room at the hut.


Dissipating clouds just before sunset.


The following more dawned clear, as forecast. We set off about 4:30 in the morning and quickly were established on the route. Here, Grant completes one of the more "memorable" pitches.


And higher, the sun finally reaches us as we complete what is typically described as the crux of the route.


Arriving at the famous snow arête Mouse over to see the route. We still have quite a ways to go, including some seven or eight pitches of ice starting from the point where the arête merges into the slope above.

Mouse over for the line.


Grant on the first of the ice pitches.


Only about three more pitches to easier ground.


The exit from the last 70° ice pitch.


Smiles all around. It is easy going from here to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, a quick ride down to the valley and a beer and a shower.