Graham Longford, four days climbing with Mark in Chamonix • September 10-13, 2012

Graham Longford, just recently moving to Switzerland, joined Mark for 4 days of climbing in the Chamonix area. We enjoyed a couple days of reasonably good weather, then were chased into Italy to take advantage of Mont Blanc's rain shadow.

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Here is a video that Graham shot and created of our Arete des Cosmiques climb.

And here are some more videos by Graham.


We began with a pleasant climb of the Arête des Cosmiques on the Aiguille du Midi. Our plan was the Arête this day, then overnight at the Cosmiques hut, and tackle the East Ridge of the Pyramide du Tacul the following day.


Here, we are under the South Face of the Midi, looking west to the Arête to be climbed, and also to the hut, on the very left edge of the photo.


Graham on the Arête des Cosmiques.


Only one more pitch to go.


Scrambling along the summit blocks.


On our second day we rose in time for the 5 am breakfast, suited up and hiked to the Pyramide du Tacul. The transition from glacier to rock was certainly "interesting" this late in the season, but, in the end, no major obstacle.

The route climbs the East Ridge in some 8 or 9 pitches of perfect rock. Mouse over the photo to see the route.


Graham on pitch 3.


Higher on the climb...


And, finally on the rappel descent.


Climbing back up to the Aiguille du Midi, and our ride back to Chamonix.


That evening the weather moved in. Hoping to find drier climbing conditions south, we zipped through the Mont Blanc tunnel, and just barely managed to escape the rain in the Machaby area. We are gearing up for Lo Dzerby, some 10 pitches up to 5c (about 5.9 for all you North Americans).


Climbing up the featured rock on Lo Dzerby.


The descent takes us past a 16th century sanctuary, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (Our Lady of the Snows).


Roof detail of the sanctuary.


And lower down....


With one more day of climbing, and poor weather still to the north, we again went to Italy for more sun. We climbed a route called Dr Jimmy, apparently in reference to the song on The Who's Quadrophenia album.


Graham on the wonderful rock of Dr Jimmy.


Thin edges on the last pitch.