Erik and Kevin Schneider in the Chamonix area • September 2-6, 2015

Brothers Erik and Kevin Schneider joined Mark for 5 days of climbing in the Chamonix area. Since alpine climbing was new to them (Kevin had already done a fair bit of rock climbing) we started with some instruction in ice climbing on the Mer de Glace.

Then on to bigger objectives....

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The Mer de Glace the morning of our first day. We wandered up-glacier to the point where the glacier takes a right-hand turn (from our perspective) and found some fun walls for play and instruction.


The ladders leading down to the Mer de Glace.


Our initial instruction area on the Mer de Glace.


Rock strewn glacier ice.


On our second day we did the Traverse of the Aiguilles Crochues. We were in and out of cloud all day, but stayed, thankfully, dry.


Lac Blanc, on the descent.


The "locals". Ibex near Lac Blanc.


On our third day, we opted for the scenic Traverse of the Vallée Blanche. From the top of the Aiguille du Midi, we took the Panoramic lift across the glacier to the Franco-Italian border, then walked back across the Traverse to the Midi. This photo was taken from the top of the Midi on our way over. It shows the rather exciting finish climb back up to the Midi.


Other climbers near the start of our traverse. Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc du Tacul in the background.


Pausing to appreciate the crevasses. Mont Blanc is the distant dome on the left-hand skyline.


Almost back to the Midi.


And another view up the final arête to the end of the Traverse.


Wingsuit jumpers from summit of the Midi.


With our last 2 days, we climbed the Aiguille du Tour. The first of the 2 days was a hike up to the hut, largely in cloud. But, as forecast, it began to clear just after dinner.


Rime-frosted grass near the Albert 1er hut.


The next day was perfect. Crossing the Col Superior du Tour and passing onto the Trient Glacier.


The view towards the Aiguille Verte and Mont Blanc from the summit of the Aiguille du Tour.


Kevin and Erik on the summit.


And finally the easy walk back to the Col, and then the hut and car.


Looking down the Chamonix valley from near the top of the Col de Balme chairlift.

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