Mick O'Rourke, climbing in Chamonix • June 10 to 12, 2008

Mick O'Rourke came over from Ireland for an introduction to alpine climbing with Kathy in the Mont Blanc massif.

Other Recent Trips

After a day of "learning the ropes" at the local crag, we headed up to the Cosmiques hut. On a squally day that ended in bright sunshine, we climbed the Pointes Lachenal, then played around on the ridge near the hut. Here Mick traverses above the void.


All the wetness this year has made for very white conditions in the high alpine regions. Mick pauses with the Pointe Lachenal and lower part of the NW Face Triangle of Mont Blanc du Tacul in the background.


Earlier, a sqaull moved in as we approached the summit pyramid of Pointe Lachenal.


Mick rappeling on Pointe Lachenal.


Near the top, the sun comes out bright and strong.


On top of Pointe Lachenal.


Coming in to the Cosmiques hut, with Mont Blanc du Tacul in the background. The snow has been falling so constantly, that the normal route has not yet seen any summer ascents. Some hot clear days and hard freezing nights are needed to stabilize the steep slopes.


The Refuge des Cosmiques, with the Aiguille du Midi in the background.


These clouds explain the quick shifts between fog, squalls and snow showers, and bright hot sunshine. Beautiful skies though.


The following morning we headed up the Arete des Cosmiques, in select company (one other party shared the route with us). We enjoyed the peace of the early hours before the first telepherique brought more climbers up from the valley.


Incedibly snowy conditions changed the landscape a bit, but did not detract in the slightest from this great route, au contraire.


Mick rappels the big tower descent early on the route.


About halfway along the ridge...


As we approach the "point of aid" pitch, we at last hear other parties approaching from behind.


Things finally get a little bit "social" in the cool north-facing exit chimneys.


On the top, just in time to avoid another squall!


Given the forecast and the continuing lack of freezing conditions up high, we ended our trip with a day of ice climbing practice on the Mer de Glace.


What a great playground!


Mick enjoying himself on the steep walls...


... and on the ladders that bring us back to the train, and home.