Jim Wallace climbing with Kathy in the Mont Blanc Massif • Ocotber 10 - 12, 2008

Jim Wallace of Ontario made it over for an October climbing trip, squeaking in "under the wire" as it were, before winter set in.
Other Recent Trips

Jim had not climbed before, so he had the full introduction. from the wintry conditions on the Cosmiques Arête...


.... to the fall colors at Les Gaillands rock climbing cliffs.


Someone thinks it's still warm enough for swimming.


We also put in a day learning ice climbing techniques and exploring the ice formations low on the Mer de Glace.


The sun barely cleared the horizon as we played around on the ice.


One of the odder aspects of climbing on the Mer de Glace is the hundreds of feet of steep ladders used for approaching the quickly thinning ice of this glacier tongue. Every year it seems, new ladders must be added to close the gap as the ice retreats away from and exposes the steep, sheer cliffs.


The Cosmiques Arête was our "graduation" climb. We enjoyed a beautiful autumn day for it. Here we leave the top station of the Aiguille du Midi téléphérique and start down the narrow ridge.


The views to the south show more high clouds arriving from the southwest, but nothing for us to worry about.


We had company on the route, but not much considering the great end-of-season weather. October is not a busy month, so even this much-loved route was tranquil.


As Jim starts up the crux pitch, it looks like we might just as well have brought our skis.


Nearly on top, the clouds begin to invade the high summits over Jim's shoulder.


A party behind us makes the last few steps to the end of the route...


... on the viewing platform! Time to head home, and tune those skis...