Steve Murchie (and Claire too) in and around Chamonix • August, 2010

Steve Murchie and his wife Claire are living and working in Slovakia for a few months where Claire has a temporary position. Steve and later Claire took advantage of their relative proximity to Chamonix, to come over for a few days of climbing with Kathy.

Other trips with Steve Murchie
Alps, July 2008

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Steve setting up a belay on the Petite Aiguille Verte.


Claire taking in the views on the Aiguille de l'Index.


Steve came over on his own, first, and we warmed up on the cliffs at Chesereys.

With early thundershowers forecast on our first day, we managed to sneak in a route before the skies opened up.

The next day continued wet on the north side, so we headed south to Arnad Bard, where the sun was shining and the weather windy but warm. Steve on the lovely approach through oak and chestnut forest.

Setting out on the first pitch of "Dr. Jimmy".

Higher on the route, the sun has caught us up.

On our third day a better forecast encouraged us up onto the Chapelle de la Glière. Steve here on pitch three or four...

It wasn't so promising early on however, as we waited our turn at the first technical pitch. Gently blowing mist kept us cool for most of the day.

A few sun breaks, Steve gets in a shot.

Steve sets out across the famous "razor pitch".

Near the top, the sun finally broke through seriously.

On his next visit, Claire joined Steve. We started out on the Aiguille de l'Index. The "dynamic duo" pause near the summit.

We had hazy but warm enough and dry weather for our climb.

The usual crowds hit the summit just after we had rappelled down.

Claire mid-way down the long and steep descent rappel.

Tthe following day it was just Kathy and Steve on the Petite Aiguille Verte. Strong winds at altitude sheared the lenticulars forming over the summits, foretelling more weather to come. Our route went up the snow/ice face near its left-hand edge here.

The view down onto the Argentière glacier far below as Seve approaches the summit rocks.

A guide directs his clients around us as we cross paths above a crux pitch near the top; there is nearly always something of a bottle-neck or traffic circle here...

Steve readies himself for the afore-mentioned crux as others have just finished descending it.

A beautiful day on top, and no one else to share it with! Not so busy after all.

Rappelling the icy slopes near the base of the route.

The following day was not so bad after all. In fact it was the best we'd seen together, hot and relatively calm. We headed across the "panoramic" téléphérique to Pointe Helbronner and the Aiguille d'Entrêves.

Pausing to take it all in on the glacier approach.

The ridge traverse straddles the border between France and Italy. Steve looks over his shoulder down into Courmayeur.

Fun, exposed, and mostly easy scrambling on an airy ridge make this climb memorable.

A French climbing instructor perches on the summit to film and encourage his student rope-team.

And Steve poses for a shot on top before beginning our descent. Post-script: the following day was REALLY REALLY wet! A strong storm from the north brought rain even into the Aosta valley. But we enjoyed the great climbing we got done, and hope Claire and Steve have a great continuation of their sojourn in Slovakia.