5 days in Chamonix with Mark Barnard • August 21 - 25 2017

Mark Barnard, from Oregon, joined Mark H for 5 days of climbing in the Chamonix area. As you can see from the photos below, one of the great attributes of Chamonix is the variety of climbing found here.

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We starting with a rock climb in the Aiguilles Rouges.


The view is just one of the many benefits of climbing in the Rouges. With a backdrop like this, it is hard not to have a good time.


The Aiguille de l'Index was our route du jour. We started at the bottom of the face, climbed 2 and a half pitches of the Voie Perroux, then traversed left on the grassy ledge to finish on the classic South Ridge.

Mouse over the photo to see the line.


Up on the South Ridge, with Chamonix far below.


The summit of the Index.


A couple exposed rappels got us off the summit spire.


Looking back at the Index from easier ground.


On day 2, we made a traverse of the Aiguille d'Entrèves. The route starts on the right side of the peak and traverses to the left.


To get there, we ride the cable car to the top of the Aiguille du Midi (where this photo was taken) and continue across the glaciers on the Panoramique lift, to Pointe Helbronner.


The Panoramique lift.


It lives up to its name. Mont Blanc behind.


A view of the summit structure of the Aiguille d'Entrèves.


Partway along the spiny ridge.


It is quite exposed, but thankfully not too difficult.


The last airy moves to the summit.


Back on the glacier, we have an easy walk back to Pointe Helbronner.


The next day we were back up the Aiguille du Midi, with the plan (fulfilled) of tackling the Arête des Cosmiques. The photo shows the exit tunnel.


The rather spectacular ridge down to the lower glacier.


Climbing on the Cosmiques.


The route winds around several giant towers.


An the final move onto the viewing platform.


On day 4 we dug out the ice tools and made a visit to the Petite Aiguille Verte. It was unusually melted out this year, but still offered a bit of fun ice climbing.

Mouse over the photo to see our route.


We wandered up to the bergschrund, found a crossing and started up the center of the ice face. A bit of steep climbing brings us onto the 55 degree upper face.


Mark arranges the belay.


We climbed 3 short pitches on good, but very hard ice to the platform on the classic NW ridge.


Looking back down on the glacier from the last pitch.


To continue would have involved some bad rock and very dirty ice. So we elected to rappel back down our route of ascent.


On our last day, we climbed Pointe Gaspard, via a route called Gaspard Premier. About 8 pitches with some excellent 5.8 climbing.

Mouse over the photo to see the route.


On the approach to Gaspard Premier.


Here we are on Pitch 5. Thin face climbing across a slab.


The last moves of pitch 6.


The last pitch of the route, on easier broken rock.


And, as is often the case in the Aiguilles Rouges, the enjoyable descent.


Thank you, Mark!

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