Ted Mather goes ice climbing in the Mont Blanc Massif • September 15-17, 2007

Ted and Phyllis hail from Georgia, but found themselves in the Alps for a bit of vacation time. Ted, in planning his preparation for a future climb of Mount Rainier's Liberty Ridge, was hoping to do some ice climbing for a few days this summer. He joined us for 3 days, the first climbing with Kathy on the Points Lachenal, and the last 2 with Mark, largely on the North Face Triangle of Mont Blanc du Tacul.

Other Recent Trips


Ted and Phyllis on the morning of the first day, at the top of the Aiguille du Midi, as Ted gears up to head out onto the ice.


Playing a bit of "tag-team" with Mark, Kathy starts with Ted on the central ice shield of Point Lachenal. They climbed up the moderately steep ice between two of the summits, traversed another and descended. A good day out.


Ted on the ice.


On the summit of the Point Lachenal, looking back towards the Aiguille du Midi. Making good use of the lift, they were back in the valley for the evening.


The following day, Mark climbed with Ted, again taking the lift to the top of the Aiguille du Midi.


The view from the lift, camera out the window. Another gorgeous day.


Stepping out onto the sharp arête as we exit the tunnels of the Aiguille du Midi.


Our objective for the day, the Contamine-Grisolle route on Mont Blanc du Tacul. This is a fun climb, and was in perfect condition.


The initial "approach" slope on the Contamine-Grisolle. Behind we can see the Points Lachenal, though Kathy and Ted's route of ascent is hidden.


Still in the "approach" gully, though four pitches up.


Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the steeper parts of the route. Here Ted walks up the snow-covered ice near the top of the climb.

After tagging the summit of the Tacul, we head down, spending the night at the Cosmiques hut.


And the next morning, we are off to climb the Chèré Couloir, a great four-pitch route also on the North Face Triangle of the Tacul. The obvious gully just right of center is the line.


Ted arriving at the belay at the top of pitch three.


And one more pitch up, we are finished with the steep climbing.


This photo was taken as we are about to head down the cable car in worsening weather. I have marked the Contamine-Grisolle route on the left and the Chèré Couloir on the right.


For grins, we also climbed the Arête des Cosmiques to get to the top of the Aiguille du Midi and awaiting cable car. This photo shows the last "pitch".


There was a photo shoot happening on the last part of the Cosmiques. These attractive young climbers will appear in some clothing catalog in the not too distant future. They would come back to the "ladder pitch" change outfits and then go back to the rocks here for more "action". I don't think Ted and Mark will make the cut, however.

All images, layout and text ©2007 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved