Tony Carey climbing in Chamonix • July 16 - 20, 2011

Tony Carey, originally from Down Under but now in Hong Kong, made the long journey to climb with Mark for a few days. Unfortunately, his arrival coincided with some of the worst weather of the summer. But, as you'll see below, we did manage to get in some good climbing.

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By way of an introduction, here's Tony. The photo was taken on our second day of climbing, on the Petite Aiguille Verte.


The first day, we took advantage of a fine morning and did the classic Arête des Cosmiques, on the Aiguille du Midi. Mont Blanc wears an ominous lenticular cloud.


Descending from the Aiguille du Midi, we had great views all the way to the Matterhorn (a tiny bump impossible to describe in this photo).


Climbing on the lower part of the Cosmiques Arête. Mont Blanc has now been engulfed by cloud.


Higher on the route. The weather was quite warm when out of the wind.


Another party on the crux section of the route.


And the final "Ladder" pitch to the top.


Here, we are looking back at a portion of the route, the section just before the crux, from the view platform on the Aiguille du Midi.


The next day was truly nasty, and we did not climb. The weather forecast even went so far as to recommend that it was a good day for "indoor activities".

But all the rain dropped a fair bit of new snow up high. On our day 3, we climbed the Petite Aiguille Verte, shown here.


The Drus and Mont Blanc from the top of the Grands Montets.


We had to contend with much snowy rock. But more's the fun.


Looking up towards the summit from about half way up the route.


Getting close....


....and a relaxing brunch on the summit. Moments after we left, it started snowing and the wind picked up, encouraging us to retreat to the valley.

More bad weather came in that evening, and the following day was cloudy with showers. We did, however manage a bit of climbing on the cliffs of the Brévent, doing the top two pitches of a route called Somone. Again, we packed up and headed to the valley as the rains started anew.


On our last day, we got lucky with sunny Italy. With the low pressure centered just north of us, the cold and cloudy weather was coming in from the NW. This meant that there was a good chance that we would find sun on the south side of the crest. And we did.

Tony making the final moves of Dr Jimmy, a fun 8-pitch route in the Machaby area.