Chuck Wilson's four days above Chamonix • September 21-24, 2007

Chuck Wilson, from Massachusetts, found himself in Europe between work and a marathon, and chose to join Mark for some climbing in the Mont Blanc Massif. This year, we had our best weather in September, and these 4 days with Chuck were typical of the month.

We began with a quick ascent of the Arête des Cosmiques, and then continued to the Torino hut for the night. The next day was on the Rochefort Arête, the day after on the Contamine-Grisolle on Mont Blanc du Tacul, and the last day some more relaxing rock climbing in the sun at Les Chéserys.

Other Recent Trips


The classic Cosmiques Arête photo. Here another party approaches the "aid" pitch.


Climbers on the Cosmiques.


At one point we took a somewhat more interesting "variation". Nice views of the glaciers below.


Another climber negotiates the "aid" move. In past years this section has been more aid and less free. This year, however, some enterprising fellow drilled a few new footholds in the granite, and now it has become more reasonable to free climb, especially so when wearing crampons, who's front-points fit nicely into the new holes.


Chuck leads the final pitch...


After our romp up the Cosmiques, we continued by the lift over to the Torino hut, just on the Italian side of the border. The following morning we were up early, and set off for the Rochefort Arête Here sunrise greets us and the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey.


Surprisingly, the Rochefort had seen virtually no traffic in the last few days, and the track required a bit of work, and care. We climbed as far as the summit of the Aiguille de Rochefort, seen in the background here.


Chuck and the base of the Dent du Géant.


Returning across the arête on the way back.


Other climbers heading out to the Aiguille de Rochefort.


We concluded the day with a ride back across the glacier and down into Chamonix.


The following day we were back up the lift and onto the Contamine-Grisolle route on Mont Blanc du Tacul. With recent snow the route was in remarkably easy condition. We were able to move together all the way up the initial 4 pitches of steep snow and ice.


Even the last normally quite icy pitch, was more or less snow-covered.


Chuck on the summit of the Tacul.


Looking back towards the normal route (and our route of descent) on the Tacul.


Resting weary knees, we took a more leisurely day for our last. A short and pleasant hike leads to Les Chéserys. We did two routes, voie Bleue, and voie de l'EHM, both about 5 pitches long.


Chuck on the crux moves of the second hard pitch on voie Bleue.


The top of pitch 2 on voie de l'EHM. The village of Le Tour behind.


Rappelling of voie de l'EHM.


The view from the base on a lovely late-September day

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