Grant Carnie in the Alps • August 1-8, 2014

Grant Carnie, from Denver, came over for another week of alpine climbing. Things were looking quite snowy for the start of the week. Our original plan on a grand traverse of many of the big summits between the Zermatt and Zinal valleys had to be put off for a better and drier future.

But between the snow and rain, we did manage some excellent climbing.

Other Trips with Grant

Alps - August 2013
Alps - September 2012
Alps - August 2011
Alps - August 2009
Alps - August 2007

Return to all recent trips


The first couple days of our time together offered only a bit of sun. We decided to head to the Weissmies hut, and give the Lagginhorn a go. A bit of new snow and less than ideal weather would be, we reasoned, manageable on this climb.


From our Chamonix base, we rose early, and drove to Saas Grund. With a partly sunny day we managed to climb a fun route on the South Face of the Jegihorn, called Alpendurst. Mouse over to see the line.


The start is well-marked!


Grant on Alpendurst. The Weissmies hut, and our home for the night, is in the upper left corner of the photo.


A view of our main objective, the Lagginhorn. With this much snow, the normal route is the only practical line. Mouse over the image to see the route.


On the summit of the Lagginhorn. A wintery day.


Two other Swiss climbers were the only other summiters that day.


And the kindly took a photo of Mark, on the left, and Grant.


On the descent, walking back down into the mists.

Our third day was truly nasty, and we did not manage to climb anything at all.


However, things were looking a bit better on day 4. We had an enjoyable day-climb on Gaspard Premier on Pointe Gaspard in the Aiguilles Rouges.


The forecast for days 5 and 6 were greatly improved, especially day 6 which was predicted to be the best day of the week.

The Grand Combin was our mountain. We had originally planned on climbing the Meitin Ridge, the left skyline in the photo. But all the snow on the South Face made that route quicker and perhaps somewhat easier. Mouse over the image to see the route we took.


Clearing weather at the Valsorey hut.


The next day, up at 2:45, out of the hut by 3:30 and we are off. Finally it gets light and I snap our first pic of the day.


After what seems like miles of 45 degree frozen snow, we arrive at the final step of the Meitin Ridge. Mont Blanc in the background.


Good climbing (with a nice anchor!) as we round the last step on the ridge.


Grant on the summit of the Combin de Valsorey. The highest summit of the Grand Combin, the Combin de Grafeneire, behind.


The view to the east from the summit of the Combin de Grafeneire. The distinctive shape of the Matterhorn is easy to identify. The Monte Rosa group is the broad series of summits on the right.


Back at the Valsorey hut after a long descent.


Hiking out. Fortunately we brought in our light shoes for the big walk out.


Negotiating the ladders on the "alpine variation" of the train into (or, in our case, out from) the hut.


We needed a wee rest after the Combin. The Chapelle de la Gliere in the Aiguilles Rouges was just right. Mouse over to see the route.


Grant on the classic "Razor" pitch.


Almost to the summit of the Chapel.


With our last day, we climbed the Aiguille du Peigne. We did the Eperon Minettes start and finished with the Normal Route.

The weather started a bit cloudy but ended well.


Grant finished the first pitch from the Breche.


Looking down the best pitch of the climb, the upper S ridge.


He likes it!


Working our way across the spectacularly exposed summit crest.


And back at the base, Grant "Face-Times" the folks back home.

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