Once again, Norm Numerof in the Mont Blanc Massif • July 4-11, 2013

Norm, from Colorado, joined Mark for 8 days in the Chamonix area. Conditions this year were excellent. The big snows of the winter and spring, and the cold, slow start to the summer, left quite a bit of snow on the glaciers, and many snow and ice routes were wonderfully reasonable. In general we had good weather, though were a bit inconvenienced here and there by early afternoon cloud buildup and occasional showers.

Other Trips with Norm

Alps - July, 2011
Alps - September, 2009
Alps - July, 2008
Alps - July, 2007
Alps - July, 2006
Alps - July, 2005
Alps - July, 2003

Return to all recent trips


Dr Norm.


We started somewhat gently with a traverse of the Aiguilles Marbrées, a small but fun peak near Point Helbronner on the Franco-Italian border. The Dent du Géant and the Rochefort Arête tower behind.

We starting up the East Ridge and descended the South. This view is from the west. Mouse over the image to better see the route.


Norm on the one slightly challenging slab pitch on the East Ridge.


Scenic climbing on the Marbrées.


The last little descent, rather "interesting", onto the glacier and easy ground.


On day 2, we returned to some familiar ground for Norm, but with a few new variations. Here, we are climbing mixed terrain on the north side of the Pointes Lachenal.


The Pointes Lachenal. Mouse over to see the line we chose.


For our return to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi, and our ride down to hotel and home, we took the scenic route, back up the Arête des Cosmiques.


Upping the ante a bit, we did the ultra-classic Forbes Arête on the Aiguille du Chardonnet. Mouse over to see the route. Up on the left, down on the right.


The hut was "full, full, full". So with a bit of extra gear we had a much quieter night under the stars.


Looking down-glacier from camp.


The Glacier du Tour.


The following day, Norm takes a Snickers break on la Bosse, just before sunrise.


And a gorgeous sunrise it was.


Olivier, and his crew students on a guides training prep course, also stop to admire the view.


And just behind us, another party arrives at the ridge.


The route was very snowy, but with a good track. Ideal conditions.


Norm downclimbs off one of the many steps.


On the summit of the Chardonnet, with Argentiere basin behind. The descent was long, but we made it down to camp, car and town in time to enjoy a good dinner and night's rest.


So, for our next bit of fun, we chose the Contamine-Mazaud route on the North Face Triangle of Mont Blanc du Tacul. Right up the middle.

Fortunately for us, all we had to do on our day following the Chardonnet, was make the generally short and relatively easy walk to the Cosmiques hut, where we spent the night.


With a 3 am breakfast, we were on the first pitch at first light.


Norm on the steepest ground of the 2nd pitch. Great ice.


Ah, sunshine at last. Actually it was quite warm. We could feel and hear the rocks and snow soaking up the heat of the sun.


4 or 5 pitches up. I lost count. With the weather beginning to look a bit threatening, and big storms forecast for mid-day, we bypassed the summit and traversed off to the normal descent route.


For our last big hurrah, we hoped to do the Gervesutti Couloir on the Tour Ronde. We spent the night in the Torino hut, and the following early morning hiked across the glacier to the base of the route. From below, however, it looked like we might have a bit of a problem. The bergschrund was enormous. Upon closer inspection, we found it indeed impassable. Oh well.


Early morning sun on jet contrails over the Dent du Géant.


Walking back from the Tour Ronde at first light.


First light on Mont Blanc.


On our way back to Point Helbronner, we climbed up the North Ridge of the Petit Flambeau.


With most of the day still ahead of us, we decided to do a bit of rock climbing at Les Cheserys.


Norm on Pitch 4 of the voie EMHM.


The town of Argentiere, far below.


There were lots of Ibex scampering about.


Mom and the kid. This little guy is traversing across the middle of a 6a route! Mouse over to see some of the routes here, including the one we did.

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