Rob Maloney climbing in the Chamonix area • July 3 - 5, 2010

Rob Maloney, who's home is in London, made a quick 3-day trip to the Alps to join Mark for climbing in the Chamonix area. For the most part, we had good weather, though hot and with a strong tendency towards afternoon thunderstorms.

Other trips with Rob

Alps 2009
Alps 2008

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For our first climb we chose the Traverse of the Aiguille d'Entrèves, an exposed summit along the Franco-Italian border. Rob had done nearly all of this climb before, only missing a small portion at the summit when threatening thunderstorms forced a hasty rappel and traverse on the south side of the peak.

On our climb, we also had some developing weather, but managed to do the climb and even get back to the Helbronner lift to the Aiguille du Midi before electrical activity shut down the cable car.


Other climbers on the last two pitches to the summit.


On the way down, we heard some thunder booming over in the direction of the Grandes Jorasses. The Dent du Géant is the spike of rock in the background. (Perhaps an objective when Rob returns in late August.)


Here is a view of the summit of the Entrèves from the glacier below. The traverse goes from left to right.

Roll you mouse over the image to see the route marked.


OK, what's with the flowers? After the Entrèves we decided to return to Chamonix for the night as the following morning's forecast looked less than ideal. So on day 2, while I (Mark) waited at the rendezvous at the Chamonix tourist office, I snapped a few shots of the village flowers.

All is not completely irrelevant, however - in the background is the Aiguille du Midi, which we would ride that afternoon.


And here, we have the Aiguille du Plan on the right, which figured prominently in the next day's climb, the Midi-Plan Traverse.


But first, a little morning's rock climb. We had several hours before we had to ride the cable car up the Aiguille du Midi, and we chose to spend it climbing a fun 4-pitch route called La Plage "The Beach", on the Aiguillette de la Floria.


The Aiguillette de la Floria. Mouse over to see "La Plage".


After our climb of La Plage, we rode the Aiguille du Midi cable-car to its top, and made the short hike to the Refuge du Cosmiques. Our plan for the following day was the Midi-Plan Traverse.

This photo was taken several days previously. Mouse over to see some of the route.


Sunrise comes as we are about halfway along the Traverse. Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Blanc proper on the left and the Aiguille du Midi on the right.


Looking back towards the Aiguille du Midi. It is 6:06 in the morning on a beautiful day.

Mouse over to see the route.


Looking towards the Aiguille du Plan. Another party, who bivouacked in the tunnels in the Aiguille du Midi station, just ahead of us.

Roll your mouse over the image to see the route.


On the summit of the Aiguille du Plan.


Looking down to the Mer de Glace, where we would be in a few hour's time.


Looking towards Mont Blanc from the summit.

Mouse over for the trail.


We decided to descend the Mer de Glace side, even though this way down is a bit longer. However, it does offer a nice sense of the traverse with new views. And it also avoids what would have been some delicate downclimbing on the steep north-side traverses from the Aiguille du Midi. And, fortunately for us, we had very good snow coverage for the Glacier d'Envers du Plan, a prerequisite for this descent.


At 10:45 in the morning, we arrive at the Requin hut, and time for a wee break.


Ah, the pleasures of a cold Coke.


Arriving at the Montenvers station and the train ride down to Chamonix.