A long walk for a short (but fun) climb. Eperon de la Cicle August 11, 2020

 

Friend and colleague Andy Perkins recommended this route for a "heat wave" day. So, with the Chamonix forecast to head north of 30° C, we thought we'd check it out.

 

 

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The day begins with a drive to the Contamine Mont-joie ski area. A leisurely start is required as the Telecabine de la Gorge doesn't open until 8:45.

 

Walking through the meadows in the ski area.

 

The less-seen west side of Mont Blanc.

 

After some time we reach the Col de la Fenêtre, our first landmark, but still an hour's walk to the start of the route.

 

But we do get a view of our climb. It lies on the slabby, and mostly shady, north face of the tall buttress to the right of the pass.

 

On the first of some 8 pitches.

 

Amazingly, it was a bit chilly in the shadow of the mountain.

 

The last of the pitches on the shady north face ends on a comfy, sunny (if it weren't for the clouds) terrace.

Nearly the last of about 8 pitches of climbing.

 

And the last little climb across to the meadows.

 

The grassy descent was quite steep. But eventually we reach the trail and regain the Col de la Cicle. A long long descent on tired feet awaits us as we hike down more than 1000m to the car at Notre Dame de la Gorge.


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